recommended reading

DNC touts open government initiatives in party platform

President Barack Obama speaks during campaign stop.

President Barack Obama speaks during campaign stop. // David Zalubowski/AP

This story was updated to note that the GOP platform did not address open government.

Democrats used their party platform, posted online Tuesday, as an opportunity to tout transparency advances under the Obama administration such as the president’s Open Government Initiative and the government information trove

The platform praises in particular for helping the private sector “pioneer innovative new services.” Technology officials have argued companies and nonprofits can build thriving industries from federal information related to energy, the environment and other topics similar to industries based on government-gathered weather and Global Positioning System data.

“We are committed to using government as a platform to spur innovation and collaboration,” the document states.

The platform, which focuses primarily on strengthening the economy and national security, was unveiled in advance of the Democratic National Convention beginning Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.

The Obama administration has launched numerous online tools aimed at raising government accountability, including databases of lobbying disclosures and White House visitors, the platform notes.

The White House visitors log has been criticized by some transparency advocates for including only visits that take place on White House grounds and often listing the names of staffers requesting authorization for a visitor rather than the official with whom the visitor is meeting. Officials have responded that the White House is making public the only records it keeps on visitors -- which are collected for security purposes rather than for transparency.

The Democratic platform also touts the administration’s leadership role in the Open Government Partnership, an international coalition launched in 2011 to promote transparency.

The platform states the party is “strongly committed to protecting an open Internet that fosters investment, innovation, creativity, consumer choice and free speech, unfettered by censorship or undue violations of privacy.”

The Republican National Committee also pledged support for Internet freedom in its platform, though it painted international regulators rather than national censors in China, Iran and elsewhere as the main adversaries of an open Internet.

“We will resist any effort to shift control away from the successful multistakeholder approach of Internet governance and toward governance by international or other intergovernmental organizations,” the RNC platform states.

The Republican platform did not address open government issues. 

The Democratic platform signals the president’s intent to issue an executive order to help industry and government prepare for and respond to cyberattacks.

The Republican platform accused the Obama administration of overreaching on cyber policy and attempting to centralize too much power into government’s hands.

The Democratic platform also pledges to “ensure that America has a 21st century digital infrastructure -- robust wired and wireless broadband capability, a smarter electrical grid and upgraded information technology infrastructure in key sectors such as health care and education.”

The Republican platform made similar promises, but painted the Obama administration and federal regulators as the chief barriers to progress.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.