Office of Open Government

The Office of Open Government (OOG) is an independent office under the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability (BEGA) charged with advancing open governance in the District of Columbia. The OOG’s mission is to ensure that government operations at every level are transparent, open to the public and promote civic engagement. The OOG ensures city-wide compliance with the Open Meetings Act, which requires all public bodies gathered to consider, conduct or advise on public business to take all official action during public meetings and to provide proper notice and detailed records of meetings. 

The Open Meetings Act includes any government council, the Council of the District of Columbia, boards, commissions and boards of directors of instrumentalities and advisory boards. The Open Meetings Act excludes meetings of the Mayor’s Cabinet, courts, governing bodies of public charter schools and Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners. The OOG provides formal and informal advice to public bodies seeking guidance on compliance with the provisions of the Open Meetings Act, and conducts training and outreach on the procedural requirements of the Act. Any member of the public may notify the Office of Open Government of a violation of the Open Meetings Act. 

The OOG has the authority to bring suit in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia against any public body, absent the Council of the District of Columbia, which fails to comply with the Open Meetings Act.  Enforcement ranges from injunctive relief to fines of up to $250 per violation.

In addition to enforcement of the Open Meetings Act, the OOG advocates for fair and efficient Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) processing. The director of the OOG serves as the city’s FOIA Officer and provides formal and informal advice to agencies seeking guidance on compliance.  The OOG also assists members of the public in filing FOIA requests with the proper District Government agency and conducts yearly training of all agency FOIA officers to better ensure compliance and the consistent application of applicable exemptions under FOIA.