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Open Government Plan - Chapter 2

Developing DOT’s Fourth Open Goverment Plan

Since the inception of DOT’s open government efforts, the Department has approached the development of its Open Government Plan in creative ways.  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.”

The Department views the core open government principles of transparency, participation and collaboration as central to the conduct of its mission.  The development of the Department’s Open Government Plan is not an event.  Having built a strong foundation of public engagement over the last several years, the Department’s 2016 Plan reflects the continued input of the public, stakeholders, our employees, and our leadership.

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 uses 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.  DOT leadership continually evaluates the ideas submitted through IdeaHub and, where appropriate, we have included employee ideas in this plan.

Recognizing that many great ideas do not come from within our own walls, DOT also seeks ideas from our stakeholders and the general public.  The DOT gathered input from stakeholders through a number of public meetings, online webinars, and conferences as well as online dialogues related to key policy initiatives.  We also leveraged government-wide opportunities to engage with civil society about our draft Plan and held a Twitter Town Hall to solicit feedback on this Plan.  The initiatives outlined in Chapter 3 reflect input received through all these channels. 

Finally, DOT solicited input from senior leaders to identify initiatives that embodied transparency, participation, and collaboration.

Section 2.1: 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 evaluated all ideas and selected the idea that best met the following criteria:

  • Alignment with DOT’s strategic plan
  • Broad applicability across the Department
  • 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, the Permitting Dashboard was recommended to DOT leadership and was selected to be DOT’s Open Government flagship initiative for 2016-2018.

Updated: Thursday, September 15, 2016
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