Declaration of Local Open Government Principles

Printable PDF of the Declaration of Local Open Government Principles

Declaration of Local Open Government Principles 

With the development of new technologies and an increasingly connected and engaged population, a growing pressure has been placed on [City] government leaders to adopt open government practices that will promote transparency, citizen participation, and collaboration.  In order to change how government works, provide more effective government services, and establish a more robust democracy, [City] adopts the following open government principles:

[City] is committed to transparency.  [City] should adopt policies, practices, and procedures that allow citizens to have access to understandable, accurate, reusable, and auditable data and information about government operations and decision making (with updates available as they are made, whenever possible).  City departments should use new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online.  Departments should also seek public feedback to identify information of greatest use to the public.  The city should operate under a presumption of openness and accessibility, while also maintaining privacy, confidentiality, security and compliance with all relevant laws.  These policies, practices, and procedures will increase accountability, promote informed public participation, and create economic development opportunities.

[City] is committed to meaningful public participation.  [City] believes members of the public have a valuable role in governing their communities and should have opportunities to take part in government decision making.   [City] supports establishing guidelines and practices that will enable the public to contribute opinions and ideas regarding political, economic, management, and other decisions using a variety of methods, as conveniently as possible for citizens.  These guidelines and practices will create more informed and effective policies and enhance and expand opportunities for the public to participate throughout decision-making processes.

[City] is committed to collaborating with the public and across government.  [City] should create opportunities to work jointly with individuals as well as public, non-profit, academic, and private sector groups to address the needs of the community.  The city should also enhance and expand its cooperation among city departments and other governmental agencies in order to more effectively fulfill the city’s obligations to citizens.  Furthermore, citizens are encouraged to contribute their time and knowledge.  The city will take steps to provide efficient and effective methods of participating and collaborating, and the city commits to incorporating citizen feedback into decision making processes.

[City] is committed to sharing best practices and software and other resources with other government entities.
[City] acknowledges that, in the face of budget decreases, government entities at every level must cut costs and find efficiencies.  An enormous cost-saving opportunity exists in the city’s information technology resource acquisition practices.  [City] supports collaborating with other government entities to share technology resources, lessons learned, and best practices; reform procurement practices, policies, and procedures; and learn to function not only as a provider of services but as a source for other government entities, the public, and other organizations to add value to the city’s services.

Open Government Directive:  These commitments require that the city create a legal framework that will institutionalize the principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration into the culture and work of [City] government.  Therefore, the [Mayor or City Manager or City Council] shall establish [an Open Government Directive] [alternative: a citizen and government open government planning group] within [90 days] to guide the implementation of open government.

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