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    Open Government Blog

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    Last week, we released four documents written by our Open Government Team:

    • Our Open Culture Plan, which provides "an examination of six thematic areas on which OPM needs to work to become more open and a vision for a future in which we and our stakeholders enjoy the benefits of openness."
    • Technical requirements for a knowledge management system (KMS). The KMS is intended not only to provide a way to manage OPM’s knowledge, but also to provide collaboration tools.
    • Our Learning and Knowledge Sharing Strategy (LKSS). The purpose of the LKSS "is to describe knowledge sharing and recommend activities that will create a learning and collaborative culture within OPM and with external stakeholders."
    • Our Communication Construct, which offers a "solution to the problem of multiple voices and multiple answers to the same question" through a call center (broadly understood) with four tiers, as well as an Ombudsman who works independently but accepts referrals from the four tiers.

    We also recently released OPM’s Plan for the Suspension of Operations in the Absence of Appropriations. This plan is for internal use; other agencies have their own plans and will not follow ours in the event of a lapse in appropriations. You can find all five documents and more on our Reference Materials page. Also check out our new Financial Transparency and Accountability pages.

    You may also wish to read our recently released social media policy. We’ve updated the language on our blog landing page and in the user agreement you accept before submitting a comment to reflect the new policy.

    Finally, you may have noticed that many people submit the same comment many times in a short period of time. Please understand that there is a short delay of a few minutes before your comment appears. Now that the social media policy is in effect, we’ll periodically remove the extra comments, as well as spam (see the links above for details on appropriate and inappropriate content). We hope this decision provides you a better experience with our blog.

    The Office of Management and Budget recently requested a self-evaluation of each Executive Branch agency’s Open Government efforts. Some of the areas evaluated are publishing government information on our website, improving the quality of the information we provide, and ways we encourage participation with citizens. In 2010 we conducted our first self assessment. We are happy to report we have continued to make significant progress on all three tenets of openness: transparency, collaboration, and participation. Our recent activities include:

    • Hiring a dedicated records officer who has been systematically implementing improvements to records management at OPM.
    • Exploring social media for interacting with the public. We have Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube accounts, all accessible from our homepage. We were particularly pleased to receive kudos on a recent earthquake-related Facebook post: "Thanks for keeping us informed! You guys are doing a great job in using social media to keep feds informed."
    • Expanding online training for OPM employees with integrated social media tools, one of which allows users to share comments on books in our online library.
    • Using a crowdsourcing tool to get ideas from employees on how to improve our work and environment here at OPM.

    Of course we will continue to work with our employees, our customers and other federal agencies on ways we can improve. In the next few weeks we’ll ask for your feedback on plain writing in our documents and then report back to you on our progress. We remain committed to working with and for you. Please feel free to leave your comments on how to make OPM more open here on our blog.



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