Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: John Podesta on the Administration’s Open Government Status Report
Press Statement

STATEMENT: John Podesta on the Administration’s Open Government Status Report

Washington, D.C. – Today, John D. Podesta, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress, released the following statement on the Administration’s Open Government Status Report:

“The Administration today issued an Open Government Status Report detailing progress made over the last two years against the high standards set by the President’s pledge to lead the most transparent administration in the nation’s history. Measured against the previous administration, with its penchant for secrecy that often impaired both government performance and security, the difference is as stark as night and day.

In memoranda and executive orders, the President has laid out principles that set the bar high in freedom of information, federal spending disclosure, data transparency, classification policy, open innovation and data-driven collaboration, and openness in the White House’s own activities.

What’s more, today’s report details that there has been significant progress. As a leader of a number of open government initiatives undertaken by the Clinton Administration, I know how difficult it sometimes is to move the bureaucracy on these issues.

The opportunity to expand transparency, however, is great and there is a great deal more to be done, especially in implementing the President’s Freedom of Information Act memorandum and Open Government directive, and in moving the national security bureaucracy toward the President’s new transparency framework. Continuing to invest in new technologies that can facilitate improved transparency is one key to accelerating the transformation.

The Obama administration has laid a solid foundation from which to build – and it should redouble its efforts and pursue these goals intently, despite enormous and important distractions that can at times feel more urgent. I am convinced that openness will pay great dividends in government efficiency, accountability, and in helping to increase the public’s confidence in their own government, which today is greeted with too much suspicion and doubt.”