Department of Defense
open government initiatives
|The Department of Defense (DoD) is undertaking broad
efforts to increase the transparency of DoD operations and to make DoD
information more easily accessible to the public as it implements the
White House Open Government Directive issued in late December.
DoD has completed its transition to a new public Web site at
specifically to provide access to the most-requested information and
allow visitors to ask questions about DoD operations as part of the
Data.gov initiative to provide easier access to federal government raw
DoD has just made available for public analysis data about the Federal
Voting Assistance Program (FVAP), which allows servicemembers and other
Americans overseas to vote in federal elections.
This builds on almost 200 DoD news feeds added to Data.gov earlier this
year, and is the beginning of a larger effort to make important raw data
available to the public.
The following provides more details on these DoD initiatives:
• A New Public Web site. In August of 2009, the Department of
Defense launched a new home page at http://www.Defense.gov, and has
completed the transition from the old Web site at
The new Web site provides quick access to information that is most
sought by Web site visitors, including DoD social media sites, the
Pentagon Channel and DoD news stories. Prominent on the new home page is
a new “We Want to Hear From
You” that allows visitors to ask questions about the DoD and explore
frequently asked questions and answers.
The site also includes an easy-to-use central listing of dozens of Web
sites maintained by different offices of the DoD and the military
services, listed both by topic and organization. The index is available
makes it easy for the public to find information on topics ranging from
military budgets and manpower to a database of defense-related imagery
(photos and videos).
• Data.Gov. DoD continues to add datasets to the Data.Gov
project, beginning with almost 200 links to RSS feeds with news releases
and other updates from the Pentagon, each military service and commands
around the world.
DoD increased the transparency of the FVAP by posting raw data about the
process by which members of the uniformed services and Merchant Marine,
their eligible family members, and all citizens residing outside the
United States can vote in all federal elections.
The data, available for download in raw form, includes voter success in
casting ballots, participation rates, age, ranks, regional voting
locations, home voting region, how the vote was cast (mail, fax, other)
as well as survey data covering how voters and voting officials rated
the effectiveness of absentee voting (effectiveness, ease, problems,
Public analysis of this data may lead to improvements in the voting
process for Americans overseas, making it easier for servicemembers and
others to participate in federal elections.
DoD will continue to add to Data.Gov and implement the new Open
Government Directive, making more easily available important public data
maintained by DoD’s many components.
(Submitted by the U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense Public Affairs.)