Recently, the agency updated its Open Government Plan for 2012-2014. Over the next two years, work around the agency will continue to improve transparency, participation, and collaboration. NARA will strengthen its culture of open government by focusing on common values and restructuring the agency to better serve the American people. A new mentoring program will be launched as well as an internal collaboration network for NARA staff. NARA will work to create an innovative culture that utilizes new and emerging technologies. The strategy for creating digital images of our records will be revised to provide the online access to records the public expects.
As part of the plan’s Flagship Initiative, the National Archives will also continue to expand its crowdsourcing efforts with the public through the Citizen Archivist Dashboard. Activities that “citizen archivists” can get involved in include tagging, transcribing, writing articles, and scanning.
The work of the National Declassification Center is described in section 5.4 of the plan. This section describes our efforts to strengthen open government by improving coordination and collaboration between agencies and effectively streamlining the declassification process.
It’s more than 50 pages, but the updated Open Government Plan is a really interesting document that describes how the work of many offices at the National Archives and Records Administration plays a role in improving open government.
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It is disappointing that NARA rejected the most popular idea from the public during the public input process- to create a 50th anniversary declassification project for JFK assassination records. In 2010 Asst. Archivist Michael Kurtz said these records would be processed for declassification by the end of 2013, but NARA has now reneged on that commitment. The interests of the United States would be best served by full transparency on this topic during the 50th anniversary year of 2013.