Office of Open Government

 

The Office of Open Government (OOG) is an office within 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 compliance with the District of Columbia Open Meetings Act, which requires that all public bodies gathered to consider, conduct or advise on public business take all official action during public meetings and provide proper notice and detailed records of their meetings. The public bodies subject to the DC Open Meetings Act include any government council, the Council of the District of Columbia, boards, commissions and boards of directors of instrumentalities, and advisory boards. The DC Open Meetings Act does not cover 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 DC 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 DC 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 DC Open Meetings Act.  Enforcement ranges from injunctive relief to fines of up to $250 per violation.

In addition to enforcement of the DC Open Meetings Act, the OOG advocates for fair and efficient DC Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) processing. The OOG provides the District of Columbia government's FOIA Officers with advice and guidance, upon request, and provides formal and informal advice to agencies seeking guidance on FOIA compliance.  The OOG also assists members of the public in filing FOIA requests with the proper District Government agency. To better ensure compliance and the consistent application of applicable exemptions under FOIA, the OOG facilitates an annual training course for DC government FOIA officers. The OOG also provides FOIA training to DC government agencies and the public upon request.

Read the law establishing the Office of Open Government and its duties.