The White House received a report card from key government reform groups with straight A’s. Yesterday, January 11th, 2010, the White House Office of Media Affairs held a conference call to discuss how these reform groups are approving the Obama administrationâs efforts toward reforming government to become more accessible, collaborative, and accountable.
Norm Eisen, Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform, and Dan Pfeiffer, White House Communications Director held the conference call to speak about the ways the Obama Administration is changing the government and White House functions.
According to Pfeiffer, transparency was at the heart of Obamaâs campaign. Since Obama’s first day in office, he has pledged to stop the abuses of revolving door politics and has made transparency a priority. Taxpayers should be able to hold agencies accountable; they should be able to see where their money is being spent. He suggested this is the first step of a longer process of changing the way the White House works.
Eisen said this is going to be the most accessible and accountable administration in history. He also mentioned how this administration is setting up a precedent for future administrations, and is changing the culture of government in a way. One reporter asked what if this new reformed government does not fit in a future administration’s goals? Eisen believes this will stick with future administrations, as well as spread throughout government, because it is a turning point for government.
We asked Eisen and Pfeiffer how agencies are responding to the open government directive, and if they are expecting any delays with the fast approaching first deadline (January 22nd agencies are expected to have 3 data-sets published). They responded that they do not expect any delays at this time and agencies have been very enthusiastic about the directive and have been sharing ideas with one another.
Ironically, with this new open and accessible government, we learned that there is no new date set for the State of the Union Address; however, it will not be on the originally scheduled February 2ndÂ date.