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Commerce Open Government Plan Version 3.5

Guest blog post by Joey Hutcherson,
Deputy, Open Government

On January 21, 2009, President Obama issued the first executive memorandum of his Administration, entitled “Transparency and Open Government.”  This memorandum established three guiding principles for the conduct of government activities. Government should be transparent.  Government should be participatory.  Government should be collaborative.

The Department of Commerce (the Department) is committed to the principles of Open Government, and we are pleased to present this mid-cycle release of the 2015 Department of Commerce Open Government Plan, version 3.5 (the Plan).  The Plan is updated annually to ensure the most current status of existing initiatives along with discussion of new initiatives are made available to the public.  This release represents its sixth publication and builds on the Department’s long history of information dissemination and the adoption of new tools and technology to enable transparency.  This plan features an exciting and new flagship initiative called the “Commerce Data Advisory Council” (CDAC).  Its addition, along with key progress updates on Open Government initiatives from our bureaus and operating units (BOU), make this an exciting edition of the Plan.  A summary of what is new in this version can be found in the “What’s New” section after the Introduction.  You will see that the Department continues to encourage and strive for increased participation and collaboration among its employees, other government agencies, and the American people to build upon our strategic goal of Operational Excellence. 

The Department invites the American public to join in as it moves toward becoming a more open and effective provider of government services and information. Please feel free to provide feedback by submitting comments to

To read the plan click this link

Commerce Plan for Retrospective Analysis of Existing Rules

On January 18, 2011, in Executive Order 13563, the President directed each agency to review their "existing significant regulations, and consider how best to promote retrospective analysis of rules that may be outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome, and to modify, streamline, expand, or repeal them in accordance with what has been learned."

In response to this directive, Commerce created and released a preliminary plan for review of its regulations on May 26, 2011. Commerce welcomed the public's comments and feedback on this preliminary plan through July 25, 2011. Commerce published the final version of its regulatory review plan on August 22, 2011, which incorporated responses to public comments and new information about recent accomplishments. Commerce in promoting transparency continues to publish routine status and updates. Commerce has updated the Retrospective Plan Progress Report Table based on progress review of the plan, new information and new developments. Today August 17, 2015, we are publishing our latest updates in the EO 13563, EO 13610 and the EO 13659 progress report. The latest report and all previous reports can be found at the Commerce Plan for Retrospective Analysis of Existing Rules.

Open Government Directive Benchmarks

The White House's Open Government Directive requires Cabinet-level agencies, such as the Department of Commerce, to pass certain milestones as part of our efforts to be more open and transparent. The timeline below details the specific benchmarks we're moving toward, and shows the Department's progress in achieving them.

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45 days—January 22, 2010

  • Completed: Designate a high-level senior official to be accountable for Federal spending information publicly disseminated (Date Completed: 1/22/2010)
  • Completed: Identify and publish online, in an open format, at least three high-value data sets (Date Completed: 1/22/2010)

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60 days—February 6, 2010

  • Completed: Launch the Commerce Open Government Website at, to provide ways for the public to find information and provide feedback on the data sets, our FOIA process, and the Commerce Open Government Plan (Date Completed: 2/5/2010)
  • Completed: Provide contact information for Commerce's designated Open Government representative and create Commerce Open Government email account, (Date Completed: 2/5/2010)
  • Completed: Launch the Citizen Engagement Tool,, to solicit feedback and ideas (Date Completed: 2/5/2010)

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120 days—April 7, 2010

  • Completed: Select Commerce Open Government Team and begin meeting (Date Completed: 1/08/2010)
  • Completed: Release First Draft template for the Commerce Open Government Plan (Date Completed: 3/12/2010)
  • Completed: Solicit public feedback for the Commerce Open Government Plan (Date Completed: 3/20/2010)
  • Completed: Integrate public feedback for the Commerce Open Government Plan (Date Completed: 4/2/2010)
  • Completed: Publish Commerce Open Government Plan on Commerce Open Government website (Date Completed: 4/7/2010)