Open Government in the Second Term

Date: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: 2040 S St. NW, Washington, DC 20009

Webcast live at:
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This event is free of charge.

Four years ago, President Obama entered office offering a grand vision for a more open and participatory government, and his administration has dedicated time and effort to strengthening government transparency policy. The White House has issued an impressive number of directives, executive orders, plans, and other actions aimed at bolstering government openness. Yet in two significant areas - consistent implementation of open government policies and the reduction of national security-related secrecy - the administration has struggled.

Join the Center for Effective Government and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) for two panel discussions on these issues. The panels will feature open government experts, administration officials, and congressional staff.

Panel 1: Implementing Open Government: Challenges and Opportunities in the Second Term

While the White House has issued important open government policies in its first four years, successful implementation of these policies has proved difficult. Open government requires leadership within agencies, breaking long-ingrained habits and changing agency operating practices, and active staff engagement. New technologies and operating practices often require new investments of resources, as well. We will ask the panelists to discuss the very real challenges of implementing open government reforms and their plans for moving forward in the second and final term of the Obama administration.

Panelists: Corinna Zarek, Office of Government Information Services; Krista Boyd, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee; Lisa Ellman, Office of Science and Technology Policy (invited)
Moderator: Katherine McFate, President and CEO, Center for Effective Government

Panel 2: National Security and Secrecy

The Obama administration's commitment to transparency has been least evident in the national security arena. Undoubtedly, there are secrets that must be kept for a time in order to protect the security of the American public, but excessive and unnecessary secrecy wastes money, leaves the public less safe, and prevents accountability on controversial and important issues. In some areas, such as reducing over-classification, the administration has pursued key reforms. But in other areas, questionable national security-related secrecy has increased. Panelists will explore how to reduce national security secrecy while protecting the safety of the American people.

Panelists: Tom Blanton, National Security Archive; Steve Aftergood, Federation of American Scientists; Scott Rosenthal, Senator Jeff Merkley's Office; Jim Harper, CATO Institute (invited)
Moderator: Ginger McCall, Director, Open Government Project, Electronic Privacy Information Center

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