Opening Government


Project started on April 3, 2011 (Completed)

The Obama administration’s release of the Open Government Directive in late 2009 launched efforts across executive branch agencies to enhance transparency, participation, and collaboration. The agencies responded with open government plans that outline specific initiatives to comply with the Directive. The plans serve as roadmaps showing how agencies can advance the key principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration through new or enhanced programs and services. The results of the Directive at the federal level have been matched by expanded open government activities in many state and local governments.

These expanded open government initiatives have not been matched, however, by an expanded capability to assess their impact or overall value. The stated goal of these programs and policies is the pursuit of transparency, participation, and collaboration, ideas that resonate in familiar and positive ways. Without further elaboration and framing, however, these ideas do not provide a basis to compare alternative initiatives, to say how they have opened government, or how much public value they may produce. There has been little attention to what actions and programs count as transparent, participative, or collaborative, and from whose perspective such judgments should be evaluated.

Through a series of initiatives, CTG considers open government from multiple perspectives, within the context of the academic field of e-government, and in a broader context in public administration.  Delving into questions such as- What does it mean for government to be “open” and what are the means by which information available to citizens will be both useful and accessible?  How should leaders administer agencies within the executive branch facilitate openness  and how is that best assessed? 

Press Releases & News Stories

Press Releases

CTG In the News

CTG Online News

Publications & Results

Issue Briefs


Journal Articles and Conference Papers

Book Chapters




Participating Agencies and Organizations

Public Value Assessment Tool

  • National Academy of Public Administration
  • New York State Chief Information Officer’s Council
  • United States Department of Commerce
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services
  • United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • United States Department of Transportation
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency
  • United States Federal Web Managers Council
  • United States General Services Administration
  • United States Merit Systems Protection Board
  • United States Office of Management and Budget
  • United States Office of Personnel Management
  • United States Office Science and Technology Policy

Open Government Research and Agenda Development Workshop

  • Broome County Government
  • Civic Commons
  • Harvard Law School
  • Knowledge as Power
  • Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, University at Albany
  • New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications
  • New York Law School
  • New York State Spending and Government Efficiency Commission
  • New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
  • New York State Office for Technology/Chief Information Office
  • New York State Chief Information Officer’s Council
  • Tetherless World Constellation, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • United States Federal Communications Commission
  • United States General Services Administration
  • United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • United States Office Science and Technology Policy
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office
  • University at Albany, State University of New York
  • University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Pennsylvania Law School
  • ReinventAlbany
  • Second Muse
  • Sunlight Foundation
  • Syracuse University

Funding Sources

The development of the Open Government Portfolio Public Value Assessment Tool was funded by a National Science Foundation EAGER (Early Action Grant for Exploratory Research) under grant No. 52732.