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Open Government Plan

Executive Summary

The President’s Open Government initiative represents a significant shift in the way federal agencies conduct business and engage the public.  In its first Open Government Plan, the Department of Transportation (DOT) recognized that the Open Government initiative is about more than adopting new tools and emerging technologies—it is about effecting real policy and internal culture change to ensure that our Department truly becomes even more transparent, participatory, and collaborative, both internally and externally.  Building on that strong foundation, our second Open Government Plan looked at the public engagement impact of, and public value generated by, enhancing DOT’s openness.  Our third Open Government Plan looked at how Open Government can help DOT become more efficient, effective, and generate economic development.  This fourth Open Government Plan highlights our ongoing efforts to build an effective open data program and make public engagement a core part of the way the Department does business. 

DOT is pursuing a number of Open Government initiatives in the next two years.  We are pleased to announce the following activities that will continue to foster openness with our employees, stakeholders, and the general public:  

  • A new public engagement site at that collects  information about proposed DOT regulations and other Federal Register opportunities open for comment, as well as upcoming public meetings, webinars, and other chances to engage
  • Furthering our community engagement through new Ladders of Opportunity initiatives, such as  the Every Day Counts Community Connections program and the Every Place Counts Leadership Academy
  • A number of efforts to coordinate and promote the use of geospatial data, including the National Transit Map and National Address Database initiatives
  • And our Flagship Initiative, a Permitting Dashboard allowing federal agencies, project developers and members of the public to track the federal government’s permitting and review process for large or complex infrastructure projects. 

The following pages describe DOT’s point of view on the links between Open Government and public engagement (Chapter 1); approach to developing the fourth Open Government Plan (Chapter 2); initiatives and activities, including our flagship initiative (Chapter 3); and retrospective review of our previous Open Government Plans (Chapter 4).  We have met nearly all the commitments described in our previous Open Government Plans.  As with our previous Open Government Plans, this Plan is a living document.  As we continue on the path towards increased transparency, participation, collaboration, and innovation, we will refine and enhance our strategic efforts.  We welcome public comments regarding the content of this Plan at

Introduction to the United States Department of Transportation

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) occupies a leadership role in global transportation, with about 55,000 dedicated professionals stationed in the U.S. and around the world.  The President’s fiscal year 2017 budget request includes a total of $98 billion for DOT and the funding for needed investments in our vital transportation systems while at the same time creating jobs and strengthening our Nation’s economy.

The mission of the Department is to serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible, and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.

Since its first official day of operation in 1967, DOT’s transportation programs have evolved to meet the economic demands of the nation.  Today, DOT comprises the Office of the Secretary (OST), the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), and the Operating Administrations (OAs):

  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
  • Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
  • Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
  • Maritime Administration (MARAD)
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)

Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC)

NOTE: Prior to the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015 (P.L. 114-110) the Surface Transportation Board was administratively aligned with the U.S. Department of Transportation, although it was decisionally independent. The Act established the STB as a wholly independent agency, and it is no longer covered by the Department’s Open Government Plan.

Updated: Thursday, September 15, 2016
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