Transparency, collaboration and participation with all stakeholders are essential to successful engagement with and service provided to the public. The Open Gov Initiative charged us to transform how government interacts with the public to be more open, transparent & collaborative.
In 2012, the USDA commemorates the 150th anniversary of our founding in 1862, when President Abraham Lincoln signed into law an act of Congress establishing the United States Department of Agriculture, referred to as the "The People's Department." Although only about 2 percent of Americans today live on a farm, our work on food, agriculture, economic development, science, natural resource conservation and a host of issues still touches the lives of every American, every day, fulfilling Lincoln's vision even today.
Issued on April 9, 2012, the USDA's Open Government Plan 2.0 reflects the work of our entire Department, lessons learned and explores the path forward. It is in this spirit of serving the nation through USDA's mission as "The People's Department" that we continue to fulfill Open Government principles.
President Obama outlined his plan to create a 21st-century regulatory system - one that protects public health and welfare while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation. Among other things, his Executive Order on Regulation said the following: Always consider costs and reduce burdens for American businesses and consumers when developing rules; expand opportunities for public participation and public comment; simplify rules; promote freedom of choice; and ensure that regulations are driven by real science.
The President also called for an unprecedented government-wide review of regulations already on the books. As a result of that review, more than two dozen agencies identified initiatives to reduce burdens and save money.
Agencies shall regularly report on the status of their retrospective review efforts to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). Agency reports should describe past progress, anticipated accomplishments, and proposed timelines for relevant actions, with an emphasis on high-priority reforms.