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Open Government Blog

We are pleased to announce a detail opportunity for Federal employees to work in Open Government at OPM. Please note that this is a non-reimbursable position:

Position: Program Analyst
Location: Washington D.C.
Duration: 4-6 months (non-reimbursable)

Introduction

On December 8, 2009, the White House issued a memorandum, the Open Government Directive, requiring federal agencies to take immediate, specific steps to achieve key milestones in transparency, participation, and collaboration.

OPM’s Open Government Web site is called OpenOPM. On April 7, OPM posted its Open Government Plan on OpenOPM, and both employees and the public are invited to comment on the Plan. Besides data sources, OpenOPM provides links to Open Government news at the Agency and contact information for the Agency Open Government champions, Chief Information Officer Matthew Perry and Associate Chief Financial Officer Rochelle Bayard.

The Agency’s Open Government governance structure consists of an Executive Board, a Core Team, and five Component Teams. The various Associate Directors and Department Heads across OPM comprise the Executive Board. The Core Team comprises representatives of the members of Executive Board, as well as a union representative. The purpose of this Core Team is to provide the means for OPM to increase transparency, widen participation, and foster collaboration both internally and externally. The Component Teams round out the governance structure by providing a means for collaboration and participation by a variety of members of OPM’s stakeholder community: additional OPM employees and union representatives, employees and retirees of other Federal agencies, academics, and representatives of non-profit enterprises.

Description of Responsibilities

The selectee will serve as the Core Team Action Learning presenter to ensure successful implementation of Open Government efforts. Duties will include but not be limited to the following:

  • Preparing and editing documents in plain language for Core Team distribution, as well as presentations and reports for OPM’s Open Government champion, the Chief Information Officer;
  • Aiding the Core Team lead in preparing final presentations, recommendations, and reports to the Executive Board;
  • Producing and maintaining meeting agendas and recording decisions;
  • Assigning Core Team action items, communicating timelines, and tracking action items to completion;
  • Collaborating with Component Teams to facilitate the flow of information and ideas among the Component Teams and with the Core Team; and
  • Responding to ideas and queries from stakeholders, including members of the general public, routing messages as appropriate, and tracking responses to ensure that OPM is responsive to its stakeholders and their needs.

Point of Contact

Dr. Mary Volz-Peacock
open@opm.gov


We are pleased to announce a detail opportunity for Federal employees to work in Open Government at OPM. Please note that this is a non-reimbursable position:

Position: Program Analyst
Location: Washington D.C.
Duration: 4-6 months (non-reimbursable)

Introduction

On December 8, 2009, the White House issued a memorandum, the Open Government Directive, requiring federal agencies to take immediate, specific steps to achieve key milestones in transparency, participation, and collaboration.

OPM's Open Government Web site is called OpenOPM. On April 7, OPM posted its Open Government Plan on OpenOPM, and both employees and the public are invited to comment on the Plan. Besides data sources, OpenOPM provides links to Open Government news at the Agency and contact information for the Agency Open Government champions, Chief Information Officer Matthew Perry and Associate Chief Financial Officer Rochelle Bayard.

The Flagship Initiative for OPM is the creation of a Knowledge Management system, and its purpose is to provide the infrastructure and tools for OPM to increase transparency, widen participation, and foster collaboration both internally and externally. We also recognize the need for changes within our own organizational behavior to create a more open culture and to centralize the existing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in each outward-facing mission function of the agency.

Description of Responsibilities

The selectee will lead an Action Learning Team designed to provide research and outline a plan for identifying and re-engineering existing business processes to support a more open culture at OPM that will remove internal and external barriers to collaboration, transparency, and communication. Duties will include but not be limited to the following:

  • Establishing Communities of Practice;
  • Collaborating with other agencies, academia, and non-profit enterprises to determine best practices for developing customer service SOPs;
  • Creating agency-wide customer service SOPs; and
  • Using collaborative technologies to communicate ideas with various stakeholders.

Point of Contact

Dr. Mary Volz-Peacock
open@opm.gov


We are pleased to announce a detail opportunity for Federal employees to work in Open Government at OPM. Please note that this is a non-reimbursable position:

Position: Program Analyst
Location: Washington, D.C.
Duration: 4-6 months (non-reimbursable)

Introduction

On December 8, 2009, the White House issued a memorandum, the Open Government Directive, requiring federal agencies to take immediate, specific steps to achieve key milestones in transparency, participation, and collaboration.

OPM's Open Government Web site is called OpenOPM. On April 7, OPM posted its Open Government Plan on OpenOPM, and both employees and the public are invited to comment on the Plan. Besides data sources, OpenOPM provides links to Open Government news at the Agency and contact information for the Agency Open Government champions, Chief Information Officer Matthew Perry and Associate Chief Financial Officer Rochelle Bayard.

Creation of a knowledge management (KM) system is the "Flagship" Initiative of this plan, and its purpose is to provide the infrastructure and tools for OPM to increase transparency, widen participation, and foster collaboration both internally and externally. We seek greater and more varied participation to integrate feedback and fresh ideas into our policies and business processes. These modifications to our business processes will help us improve service and efficiency; they form part of our continuous self-improvement.

Description of Responsibilities

In the role of Presenter, the selectee will lead a team using Action Learning Techniques to provide needed research to create and integrate the existing OPM system infrastructure into a workable knowledge management system. This selectee's responsibilities will include but not be limited to the following:

  • Establishing meeting agenda, recording decisions, and preparing all documents for Flagship Team distribution;
  • Assigning action items, communicating timelines for the Flagship Team, and tracking them to completion;
  • Centralizing all external communication channels for feedback to and receipt of fresh ideas from stakeholder groups to the CORE TEAM;
  • Centralizing agency responses by providing the public with a consistent "One OPM Voice";
  • Providing transparency of data so that knowledge transfer can occur among the various stakeholders;
  • Administrating customer feedback on questions and internal responses to make our KM robust and responsive;
  • Incorporating ideas expressed by members of the public into the current OPM Open Government Plan in response to news articles, agency blogs, and other media; and
  • Exploring social media tools and sites for their potential to bring new and varied stakeholders to the table.

Point of Contact

Dr. Mary Volz-Peacock
open@opm.gov


It has been one year since the White House released the Open Government Directive, part of a greater initiative to make the Federal Government more transparent, participatory, and collaborative.

Through OPM’s Open Government Plan, we have made the commitment to working with stakeholders to meet their needs and making more information available to and usable by the public. We are engaging OPM employees, along with external stakeholders, in a more collaborative and transparent way to solve complex, agency-wide problems through clearly defining the problem, generating creative ideas, and finally recommending new solutions to the Executive Board.

Here are some of the highlights of what we have accomplished thus far:

  • We formed a governance structure with representation from throughout OPM and from external stakeholders. Participants from field offices and the union have played vital roles as members of our six Open Government teams. This structure has allowed us to use an inductive approach and incorporate ideas from other agencies, academia, and non-profit institutions by working together across internal and external boundaries. In this way, we collaborate to make meaningful change at OPM.
  • OPM was ranked among the top five agencies in OpenTheGovernment.org's first assessment of Open Government plans throughout the Executive Branch.
  • The Agency received a Leading Practices Award from the White House for our Flagship initiative to bring knowledge management and collaborative technologies to OPM.
  • We stood up OPM’s searchable Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) engine and are about to complete Phase II of this project. Through the FAQs, members of the public can find answers to their questions about Federal HR policies and procedures.

But we’re not done yet – in fact, we’re just getting started. We are moving forward with implementing OPM’s Open Government Plan and focusing on ways in which openness – and transparency in particular – can help us better do our jobs and fulfill our mission to recruit, retain, and honor a world-class workforce to serve the American people. To that end, in February, OPM will host an interagency Open Government summit during which will we not only showcase our successful and unique approach to Open Government, but also engage in yet more collaboration on challenges we face.

I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to the success of our Open Government initiative – those who have dedicated themselves throughout the year to leading and participating in OPM’s efforts, those who have responded to requests for information from the public and from the Open Government Forum, and others who have stepped in as their engagement was needed and demonstrated great flexibility in support of the teams. Openness must become part of the way each of us operates every day, recognizing that, as a result, our jobs will be made easier and our service to our customers better. As we move forward with implementation, I look forward to meeting with the Open Government Team in January to discuss next steps.

I congratulate everyone who has made our Open Government initiative successful, and encourage all of OPM to join our important journey towards more effective and transparent government.

John Berry
Director


Four investigators with OPM’s Federal Investigative Services (FIS) recently were named Agent of the Year for 2009. During a recognition ceremony, OPM Deputy Director Christine Griffin noted the award recipients “work beyond the standard 9 to 5 business day to complete America’s business” and do so “with the utmost professionalism and quality.”

In fact, the Agents of the Year and their colleagues across the country have been a driving force behind recent successes in improving and expediting the investigative process. For example, in Fiscal Year 2010 FIS investigators completed 623,454 Initial Security Clearance Investigations, 90 percent of which were completed in an average 39 days.

OPM-FIS conducts 90 percent of all background investigations on federal job applicants, which in fiscal 2010 totaled 2.2 million investigations.


Today, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra and Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Cass R. Sunstein announced 11 awards for 8 agencies’ Open Government efforts. OPM received a Leading Practices Award for our Flagship Initiative.

Many thanks to everyone inside and outside of OPM who has contributed to the success of our Open Government Plan! We'll continue to keep you informed as we move forward with implementation.


It’s hard to believe that July has already come and gone!

In July, we began holding weekly meetings with each of the 5 component teams described in our plan and charter. In those meetings, employees from throughout OPM meet with external participants to discuss openness at OPM. The teams are currently working on understanding OPM’s culture so they can provide some ideas based on best practices regarding how to make it a more open culture. In total, we have 54 participants on the 6 teams, including the Core Team.

Meanwhile, we have continued our efforts with our searchable Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). We completed Phase I by launching the new engine on June 30 and are finalizing the requirements for Phase II.

We read all the comments you send us. Thank you for your words of encouragement. Please continue to share your ideas with us in this space, and please refrain from recommending or linking to commercial products here: we cannot endorse commercial products, and this space is designed to foster conversation about OPM.

As always, we look forward to hearing from you.


This month, OPM released the results of the 2010 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (Fedview), formerly called the Federal Human Capital Survey. We used the Fedview survey to gather data on employees’ perceptions in areas such as job satisfaction and engagement.

Here are some of the questions about transparency, collaboration, and participation we asked in the 2010 survey:

Over a quarter-million government employees responded to the survey. Read our Published Reports for narrative accounts of the results or check out the weighted and unweighted results to see the data.

Now that we’ve collected the data, we need to act on the results. OPM is starting a new initiative through which we will provide customized support to agencies wishing to use the results of the survey to spur changes within their organizations.

The Fedview survey is one way employees can help improve their agencies. Others include President Obama's SAVE Award, through which the Administration is collecting ideas from Federal employees on how to achieve efficiencies and savings within their agencies. We'd love to hear from you about other ways Federal employees might help bring about improvements at their agencies, especially at OPM.

Please share your thoughts on the Fedview survey with us!


June has been a busy month for OPM's Open Government Core Team:

  • We have formed the Component Teams mentioned in our Open Government Plan and Charter, both of which can be found from the OpenOPM homepage.
  • Speaking of our plan and charter, we released version 1.2 of the plan and finalized the charter.
  • We are scheduling our first Component Team meetings for early to mid-July. In preparation for those meetings, we held a day-long training session for the coaches and presenters for those teams. Several other OPM employees participated in the session — having seen the gains the Open Government Core Team has made in learning, they are interested in exploring possible uses for Action Learning in their organizations.
  • We completed a brief analysis of the comments we've received on this blog. We concluded that many of you are interested in hiring reform and related policies. You're seeking ways to improve communication with OPM and are sometimes frustrated with the process of seeking Federal employment. As time passes and the initial excitement of setting up the Component Teams begins to subside, this analysis will remind us of why it is so important for us to work to improve communication with the public and service to our stakeholders.
  • One major way in which we are seeking to improve customer service in the immediate future is our Searchable Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) engine. We are completing the testing of Stage I of the FAQs engine and will launch this Wednesday. Please use it and share your ideas about it with us in this space. We are already planning Stage II, with more features greater interactivity.

As always, we look forward to hearing your ideas about how we can improve openness at OPM!


Posted 2:52 PM by

This week we released our Open Government Forum Charter, and based on feedback we received from OpenTheGovernment, we are revising our Open Government Plan. We’ll make Version 1.2 of the plan available in PDF and HTML when we launch our revamped Web site this summer.

Now is a perfect time to share with us ways you’d like to improve the plan and site!

Thank you in advance.


 

Learn More

If you would like to learn more about the OpenOPM initiative, visit www.opm.gov/open.

 
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