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Open Government at USDA
USDA Open Gov

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.

Published June 02, 2014, the USDA Open Government Plan 3.0 Update (PDF, 426KB) is a major revision, and departs substantially from Plans 1.0 through 2.0. The OGP v 3.0 follows the structure and substance as outlined in White House/Office of Science and Technology Policy guidance referenced by memorandum (Feb. 24, 2014) and supplemental guidance. Appendix A: USDA Open Government Program Schedule (OGP v2.0 Close) provides final status to all preceding Open Government implementation milestones as seen in Plans 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0. USDA will create a new program schedule and report progress on Plan 3.0 milestones with the first requested progress report.

Read previous Open Gov plans

Data Sets

USDA has published many datasets to enhance transparency, increase responsiveness and stimulate economic opportunities with our stakeholders.

Through the USDA's Data Stewardship Working Group, the Department continues to identify new datasets for public release, or enhancements to those that are already available.

Dozens of published datasets have been deemed high-value and remain popular among the public, including:

Visit the USDA Data and Tool Catalogue on Data.gov to view all datasets.

Regulation Reform

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.

Agency Retrospective Review Plan Report - January 2014 (PDF, 163KB) | Text-only (accessible) version

Agency Retrospective Review Plan Report - January 2013 (PDF, 125KB) | Text-only (accessible) version

Agency Retrospective Review Plan Report - July 2013 (PDF, 133KB)

Agency Retrospective Review Plan Report - May 2012 (PDF, 94KB)

Plain Writing Act

President Obama emphasized the importance of establishing "a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration" in his January 21, 2009, Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government.

The Plain Writing Act of 2010 requires that all federal agencies write "clear Government communication that the public can understand and use."

Visit USDA's Plain Writing page to learn more.

Stay Connected

There are a variety of opportunities for you to stay engaged and participate, collaborate and learn more about our activities.

USDA Blog

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