Developing DOT’s Third Open Goverment Plan
DOT took a different planning approach for the 2014 Plan than we did for the 2012 and 2010 Plans. In 2010, the Department focused on the many policy, cultural and technology barriers that needed to be overcome to lay the groundwork for increasing transparency, participation and collaboration in our daily work. The process we used to develop the 2012 Plan was focused on looking at the public value of our Open Government related activities. To do this, we used a planning approach called the Public Value Assessment Tool (PVAT), created by the Center for Technology in Government (CTG) at the University at Albany, SUNY.
To develop our 2014 Plan, DOT focused on the President’s call to develop a management agenda that “delivers a smarter, more innovative, and more accountable government for its citizens.” As we did with our previous plans, we engaged DOT employees, program owners and executives, and the public. We developed a number of initiatives to implement the President’s Management Agenda, and we selected the initiatives that embraced transparency, participation, and collaboration to be featured in our third Open Government Plan.
Figure 2: DOT's Open Government Planning Approach
The following section will describe in more detail how ideas for initiatives were sought, how initiatives were assessed for inclusion in our Plan, and how our flagship initiative was selected.
Section 2.1: Seeking Ideas for Open Government Activities
The following section describes how ideas for activities to include in the Plan were sought from three primary sources:
- DOT employees as a whole
- DOT stakeholders and the general public
- DOT program managers and executives
Section 2.1.1: Engaging DOT Employees
To adhere to the principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration with almost 55,000 DOT employees from across the country in this planning process, DOT used IdeaHub to engage directly with employees. IdeaHub is a robust ideation platform that allows ideas to be submitted, allows employees to see and vote on those ideas, and encourages employees to comment on and refine each other’s ideas. In November 2013, DOT launched a Department-wide challenge for employees asking, “How can the DOT maximize Efficiency, ensure Effectiveness, and encourage Economic Growth?” This call for ideas was issued by the Secretary and was open for discussion for several weeks. Over 120 ideas were submitted in response to the challenge, and 30 ideas were selected for additional evaluation. Of these, one idea was selected to be featured in this version of the DOT Open Government Plan.
Section 2.1.2: Engaging the Public
Recognizing that many great ideas do not come from within our own walls, DOT also sought ideas from our stakeholders and the general public, in adherence with the Open Government Directive. To do this, DOT leveraged the Secretary’s FastLane blog.
To promote this call to action, we leveraged the @SecretaryFoxx Twitter channel as well as our formal stakeholder networks. We received a total of four ideas. Many of those ideas were focused on open data and innovation efforts, and are reflected in our Plan.
Section 2.1.3: Engaging DOT Program Owners and Executives
In response to the President’s call to collaboratively develop a management agenda, DOT convened a working group of senior leaders to develop a set of initiatives that would help DOT increase efficiency, improve effectiveness, and foster economic development. The initiatives that were developed by this group of senior leaders were wide-ranging, but many of them were aligned with the Open Government principles of transparency, participation and collaboration. This group of senior leaders selected the initiatives that would be featured in this third Plan.
Section 2.2: Assessing Proposed Activities and Selecting a Flagship Initiative
All of the ideas collected through the public engagement, employee engagement and program office engagement activities were considered for inclusion in the Plan. DOT’s senior leadership working group evaluated all ideas and selected the idea that best met the following criteria:
- Alignment with DOT’s strategic plan
- Cross-modal in scope
- Ability to be completed within existing program resources
- Identified in response to stakeholder demand
These factors were considered for every initiative evaluated and one initiative floated to the top. Thus, eNEPA was recommended to DOT leadership and was selected to be DOT’s Open Government flagship initiative for 2014-2016.
The final Plan was routed for DOT-wide review and comment before being published on www.dot.gov/open.