Transparency is a hallmark of this Administration. President Obama signed the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government
as his first executive action on his first day in office. The Open Government Directive
seeks to ensure greater
accountability in government with specific instructions and milestones for achieving
greater transparency, participation, and collaboration across the Executive Branch.
The Administration’s commitment to transparency and accountability extends into
the international community as well. This commitment is part of a long-standing
U.S. effort to enhance aid effectiveness, consistent with its endorsement of the
Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for
. The Open Government Partnership (OGP) launched at the United Nations
in September 2011 is a global agreement between dozens of nations to set basic standards
of openness. As part of the OGP effort, the U.S. developed a National Action Plan (NAP)
, which requires
increasing transparency in foreign assistance by releasing government-wide reporting
guidance. The U.S. Government codified this effort to achieve greater transparency
in foreign assistance with the release of the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Bulletin 12-01
which offers federal agencies guidance on the collection of U.S. foreign assistance
data. Under the Bulletin, the 22 agencies that fund or execute foreign assistance
programs are asked to provide more detailed, standardized budget, financial, and
implementation data. Over time, ForeignAssistance.gov will become the source for all U.S.
Government foreign assistance data and the data submitted to the site will
be used to fulfill the congressional and international data reporting requirements.
For more detailed information about the Bulletin, please see the Understanding the Data
The U.S. Government is committed to making information on foreign assistance programs
more transparent, accessible, and compatible with international standards. In November
2011, the U.S. Government became a signatory to the
International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI)
and has begun publishing
data in accordance with the IATI standard. The U.S. Government is also taking active
steps to meet the commitments endorsed at the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness
in Busan, Korea in December 2011. The Busan Outcome Document
(Paragraph 23) states that adherents
“…will work to improve the availability and public accessibility of information
on development co‐operation and other development resources. . .” and “. . . implement
a common, open standard for electronic publication of timely, comprehensive and
forward‐looking information on resources provided through development co-operation.
. .” The U.S. schedule for implementing these Busan transparency commitments can
be accessed here
. ForeignAssistance.gov is
the primary tool for the U.S. Government to deliver on its promise of making aid data more transparent.