Fast Facts

Federal agencies are using open innovation strategies—leveraging the knowledge and skills of people outside the federal government—to achieve certain goals. To support these strategies, agencies have developed guidance, provided staff to help implement initiatives, and established websites to improve access to information.

However, we found that guidance developed by the General Services Administration, Office of Management and Budget, and Office of Science and Technology Policy does not fully reflect leading practices for effectively implementing open innovation projects. We recommended that these agencies revise their guidance to do so.

Extent Key Guidance for Open Innovation Strategies Reflects Practices for Effective Implementation

A table showing how well federal guidance reflects effective implementation strategies.

A table showing how well federal guidance reflects effective implementation strategies.

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Highlights

What GAO Found

Open innovation involves using various tools and approaches to harness the ideas, expertise, and resources of those outside an organization to address an issue or achieve specific goals. Agencies have frequently used several open innovation strategies—crowdsourcing and citizen science, ideation, open data collaboration, open dialogues, and prize competitions and challenges—to engage the public. Staff from the General Services Administration (GSA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) developed resources to support agency use of these strategies:

policies and guidance to encourage use, clarify legal authorities, and suggest actions for designing and implementing an open innovation initiative;

staff to advise and assist agency staff implementing initiatives and open innovation-related communities of practice; and

websites to improve access to relevant information and potential participants.

Six selected agencies—the Departments of Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Transportation; the Environmental Protection Agency; and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration—also developed resources for those strategies they frequently use. These resources complement those at the government-wide level, providing agency staff with tailored guidance and support to help ensure they carry out initiatives consistent with agency procedures.

For the open innovation strategies identified above, GAO determined that key government-wide guidance developed by GSA, OMB, and OSTP reflect to differing extents practices GAO previously identified for effectively implementing specific initiatives (see table). Several factors led to these variances, including differing scopes and methodologies used in their development, and when they were issued. Better incorporating these practices could help ensure agency staff are aware of, and are able to take, steps to effectively design, implement, and assess their initiatives.

Extent Key Guidance Reflects Practices for Effective Implementation by Strategy

Extent Key Guidance Reflects Practices for Effective Implementation by Strategy

Why GAO Did This Study

To address the complex and crosscutting challenges facing the federal government, agencies need to effectively engage and collaborate with those in the private, nonprofit, and academic sectors; other levels of government; and citizens. Agencies are increasingly using open innovation strategies for these purposes.

The GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 requires agencies to identify strategies and resources they will use to achieve goals. The act also requires GAO to periodically review how implementation of the act's requirements is affecting agency performance. This report identifies the open innovation resources developed by GSA, OMB, OSTP, and six selected agencies, and examines the extent to which key guidance reflects practices for effective implementation.

To address these objectives, GAO identified various resources by reviewing relevant policies, guidance, and websites, and interviewing staff from each agency. GAO selected the six agencies based on several factors, including the number and type of open innovation initiatives outlined in their agency Open Government Plans. GAO also compared guidance to practices and key actions for effective implementation.

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Recommendations

GAO recommends GSA, OMB, and OSTP enhance key guidance for each open innovation strategy to fully reflect practices for effective implementation. GSA and OMB generally agreed with these recommendations. OSTP neither agreed nor disagreed with the recommendations.

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Office of Management and Budget To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to clearly define the purpose of engaging the public.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to clearly articulate the purposes their open data events are designed to achieve.
Office of Science and Technology Policy To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to clearly define the purpose of engaging the public.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to clearly articulate the purposes their open data events are designed to achieve.
General Services Administration To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to clearly define the purpose of engaging the public.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to clearly articulate the purposes their open data events are designed to achieve.
Office of Management and Budget To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to consider the agency's capability to implement a strategy, including leadership support, legal authority, the availability of resources, and capacity.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to confirm their capability to hold open data events. The updated guidance specifies that those planning an open data event should confirm leadership support for the initiative, the existence of legal authority to hold an event, the availability of facilities and other resources, and whether the agency needs to partner with outside organizations to ensure sufficient capacity to organize and carry out the event.
Office of Science and Technology Policy To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to consider the agency's capability to implement a strategy, including leadership support, legal authority, the availability of resources, and capacity.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to confirm their capability to hold open data events. The updated guidance specifies that those planning an open data event should confirm leadership support for the initiative, the existence of legal authority to hold an event, the availability of facilities and other resources, and whether the agency needs to partner with outside organizations to ensure sufficient capacity to organize and carry out the event.
General Services Administration To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to consider the agency's capability to implement a strategy, including leadership support, legal authority, the availability of resources, and capacity.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to confirm their capability to hold open data events. The updated guidance specifies that those planning an open data event should confirm leadership support for the initiative, the existence of legal authority to hold an event, the availability of facilities and other resources, and whether the agency needs to partner with outside organizations to ensure sufficient capacity to organize and carry out the event.
Office of Management and Budget To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to define specific and measurable goals for the initiative.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to identify specific and measurable goals for open data engagement initiatives and events.
Office of Science and Technology Policy To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to define specific and measurable goals for the initiative.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to identify specific and measurable goals for open data engagement initiatives and events.
General Services Administration To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to define specific and measurable goals for the initiative.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to identify specific and measurable goals for open data engagement initiatives and events.
Office of Management and Budget To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to identify performance measures to assess progress.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to identify measures to assess progress for their open data initiatives, such as the number of participants or number of solutions developed at an event. It also specifies that such measures can be tracked over time to allow for comparisons to previous events.
Office of Science and Technology Policy To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to identify performance measures to assess progress.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to identify measures to assess progress for their open data initiatives, such as the number of participants or number of solutions developed at an event. It also specifies that such measures can be tracked over time to allow for comparisons to previous events.
General Services Administration To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to identify performance measures to assess progress.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to identify measures to assess progress for their open data initiatives, such as the number of participants or number of solutions developed at an event. It also specifies that such measures can be tracked over time to allow for comparisons to previous events.
Office of Management and Budget To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to align goals of the initiative with the agency's broader mission and goals.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to align goals for an open data engagement initiative or event with their missions and goals.
Office of Science and Technology Policy To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to align goals of the initiative with the agency's broader mission and goals.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to align goals for an open data engagement initiative or event with their missions and goals.
General Services Administration To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to align goals of the initiative with the agency's broader mission and goals.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to align goals for an open data engagement initiative or event with their missions and goals.
Office of Management and Budget To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to document the roles and responsibilities for all involved in the initiative.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to clearly document roles and responsibilities for those involved in an open data initiative or event, including specific action items individuals are responsible for completing.
Office of Science and Technology Policy To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to document the roles and responsibilities for all involved in the initiative.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to clearly document roles and responsibilities for those involved in an open data initiative or event, including specific action items individuals are responsible for completing.
General Services Administration To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to document the roles and responsibilities for all involved in the initiative.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to clearly document roles and responsibilities for those involved in an open data initiative or event, including specific action items individuals are responsible for completing.
Office of Management and Budget To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to develop a plan that identifies specific implementation tasks and time frames, including those for participant outreach and data collection.
Closed - Implemented
In November 2019, the General Services Administration and Office of Management and Budget released enhanced guidance for agencies on the implementation of open data collaboration initiatives. The updated guidance encourages agencies to plan for and clearly document the time frames, and agency or entity responsible, for completing specific implementation tasks. The guidance specifies that those tasks include participant outreach and communication, and data collection for the initiative.
Office of Science and Technology Policy To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to develop a plan that identifies specific implementation tasks and time frames, including those for participant outreach and data collection.
Closed - Implemented
In November 2019, the General Services Administration and Office of Management and Budget released enhanced guidance for agencies on the implementation of open data collaboration initiatives. The updated guidance encourages agencies to plan for and clearly document the time frames, and agency or entity responsible, for completing specific implementation tasks. The guidance specifies that those tasks include participant outreach and communication, and data collection for the initiative.
General Services Administration To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to develop a plan that identifies specific implementation tasks and time frames, including those for participant outreach and data collection.
Closed - Implemented
In November 2019, the General Services Administration and Office of Management and Budget released enhanced guidance for agencies on the implementation of open data collaboration initiatives. The updated guidance encourages agencies to plan for and clearly document the time frames, and agency or entity responsible, for completing specific implementation tasks. The guidance specifies that those tasks include participant outreach and communication, and data collection for the initiative.
Office of Management and Budget To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to use multiple outlets and venues to announce the initiative.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to reach out to potential participants using multiple outlets or venues, including websites, social media, email lists, or interagency meetings.
Office of Science and Technology Policy To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to use multiple outlets and venues to announce the initiative.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to reach out to potential participants using multiple outlets or venues, including websites, social media, email lists, or interagency meetings.
General Services Administration To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to use multiple outlets and venues to announce the initiative.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to reach out to potential participants using multiple outlets or venues, including websites, social media, email lists, or interagency meetings.
Office of Management and Budget To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to craft announcements to respond to the interests and motivations of potential participants.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to clarify and focus on the interests of potential participants in their outreach prior to an open data event. It also emphasizes that addressing the interests of potential participants can motivate them to participate.
Office of Science and Technology Policy To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to craft announcements to respond to the interests and motivations of potential participants.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to clarify and focus on the interests of potential participants in their outreach prior to an open data event. It also emphasizes that addressing the interests of potential participants can motivate them to participate.
General Services Administration To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to craft announcements to respond to the interests and motivations of potential participants.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to clarify and focus on the interests of potential participants in their outreach prior to an open data event. It also emphasizes that addressing the interests of potential participants can motivate them to participate.
Office of Management and Budget To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to hold regular check-ins for those involved in the implementation of the initiative.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to hold regular check-in meetings with those involved in the implementation of an open data event.
Office of Science and Technology Policy To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to hold regular check-ins for those involved in the implementation of the initiative.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to hold regular check-in meetings with those involved in the implementation of an open data event.
General Services Administration To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to hold regular check-ins for those involved in the implementation of the initiative.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to hold regular check-in meetings with those involved in the implementation of an open data event.
Office of Management and Budget To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to collect and analyze data to assess goal achievement and results of the initiative.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to collect and assess data to determine whether an open data initiative met its goals. It specifies that this can involve surveys to assess the satisfaction of participants, along with the use of other methods, such as the collection of data on the industry sectors represented by participants or the analysis of social media coverage.
Office of Science and Technology Policy To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to collect and analyze data to assess goal achievement and results of the initiative.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to collect and assess data to determine whether an open data initiative met its goals. It specifies that this can involve surveys to assess the satisfaction of participants, along with the use of other methods, such as the collection of data on the industry sectors represented by participants or the analysis of social media coverage.
General Services Administration To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to collect and analyze data to assess goal achievement and results of the initiative.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to collect and assess data to determine whether an open data initiative met its goals. It specifies that this can involve surveys to assess the satisfaction of participants, along with the use of other methods, such as the collection of data on the industry sectors represented by participants or the analysis of social media coverage.
Office of Management and Budget To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to conduct an after-action review to identify lessons learned and potential improvements.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to conduct post-event sessions to get feedback from those involved in implementation. It specifies these sessions can be used to identify what was successful and what could be changed for subsequent events.
Office of Science and Technology Policy To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to conduct an after-action review to identify lessons learned and potential improvements.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to conduct post-event sessions to get feedback from those involved in implementation. It specifies these sessions can be used to identify what was successful and what could be changed for subsequent events.
General Services Administration To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to conduct an after-action review to identify lessons learned and potential improvements.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to conduct post-event sessions to get feedback from those involved in implementation. It specifies these sessions can be used to identify what was successful and what could be changed for subsequent events.
Office of Management and Budget To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to report on results and lessons learned publicly.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to report publicly on results achieved through their open data events, and lessons learned through their implementation.
Office of Science and Technology Policy To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to report on results and lessons learned publicly.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to report publicly on results achieved through their open data events, and lessons learned through their implementation.
General Services Administration To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to report on results and lessons learned publicly.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to report publicly on results achieved through their open data events, and lessons learned through their implementation.
Office of Management and Budget To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to acknowledge and, where appropriate, reward the efforts and achievements of partners and participants.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to recognize and reward the efforts and achievements of partners and participants at the conclusion of an open data event.
Office of Science and Technology Policy To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to acknowledge and, where appropriate, reward the efforts and achievements of partners and participants.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to recognize and reward the efforts and achievements of partners and participants at the conclusion of an open data event.
General Services Administration To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to acknowledge and, where appropriate, reward the efforts and achievements of partners and participants.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to recognize and reward the efforts and achievements of partners and participants at the conclusion of an open data event.
Office of Management and Budget To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to seek to maintain communication with, and promote communication among, members of the community.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to maintain communication with those that participated in an open data event. It also specifies that after an event, agencies can create dedicated websites to share new content and facilitate ongoing communication within the community, or use pilot projects to help keep participants engaged.
Office of Science and Technology Policy To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to seek to maintain communication with, and promote communication among, members of the community.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to maintain communication with those that participated in an open data event. It also specifies that after an event, agencies can create dedicated websites to share new content and facilitate ongoing communication within the community, or use pilot projects to help keep participants engaged.
General Services Administration To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives to seek to maintain communication with, and promote communication among, members of the community.
Closed - Implemented
In April 2018, staff from the General Services Administration told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for open data collaboration initiatives. In May 2018, they revised guidance on the Project Open Data website to encourage agencies to maintain communication with those that participated in an open data event. It also specifies that after an event, agencies can create dedicated websites to share new content and facilitate ongoing communication within the community, or use pilot projects to help keep participants engaged.
General Services Administration To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for ideation and open dialogue initiatives to develop a plan that identifies specific implementation tasks and time frames, including those for participant outreach and data collection.
Closed - Implemented
In January 2018, General Services Administration staff told us that they were working with stakeholders to revise key guidance for open dialogue and ideation initiatives. In May 2018, they revised the Public Participation Playbook to encourage agencies to develop a plan that outlines responsibilities for various implementation tasks, such as reaching out to potential participants and keeping track of key data sources, along with timeframes for these activities.
General Services Administration To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for ideation and open dialogue initiatives to hold regular check-ins for those involved in the implementation of the initiative.
Closed - Implemented
In May 2019, the General Services Administration (GSA) revised the Public Participation Playbook. The revised version encourages agencies to hold regularly scheduled check-in meetings with stakeholders.
General Services Administration To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for ideation and open dialogue initiatives to report on results and lessons learned publicly.
Closed - Implemented
In January 2018, General Services Administration staff told us that they were working with stakeholders to revise key guidance for open dialogue and ideation initiatives. In May 2018, they revised the Public Participation Playbook to encourage agencies to regularly and transparently report on the results of participation initiatives, which can include ideation and open dialogues, and to use this reporting to share lessons learned.
General Services Administration To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for ideation and open dialogue initiatives to acknowledge the efforts and achievements of partners that have contributed to the implementation of an initiative.
Closed - Implemented
In May 2019, the General Services Administration revised the Public Participation Playbook. The revised version encourages agencies to recognize the contributions of partners and stakeholders and report on the results of their participation.
Office of Science and Technology Policy To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for crowdsourcing and citizen science initiatives to fully reflect the key action to acknowledge the efforts and achievements of partners that have contributed to implementing an initiative.
Closed - Implemented
In January 2018, General Services Administration staff told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Science and Technology Policy to enhance key guidance for crowdsourcing and citizen science initiatives. In December 2017, they revised the Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Toolkit to encourage agencies to recognize the contributions and achievements of implementation partners. The Toolkit states that agencies should do this both while an initiative is ongoing and after it is complete.
General Services Administration To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for crowdsourcing and citizen science initiatives to fully reflect the key action to acknowledge the efforts and achievements of partners that have contributed to implementing an initiative.
Closed - Implemented
In January 2018, General Services Administration staff told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Science and Technology Policy to enhance key guidance for crowdsourcing and citizen science initiatives. In December 2017, they revised the Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Toolkit to encourage agencies to recognize the contributions and achievements of implementation partners. The updated Toolkit states that agencies should do this both while an initiative is ongoing and after it is complete.
Office of Management and Budget To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for prize competitions and challenges to hold regular check-ins with those involved in the implementation of an initiative.
Closed - Implemented
In January 2018, General Services Administration staff told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for the implementation of prize competitions and challenges. In December 2017, they revised the Challenges and Prizes Toolkit to encourage agencies to hold regular check-ins with all who are involved in the implementation of an initiative, which can include partners from other federal agencies, the private sector, or non-governmental organizations. The updated Toolkit specifies that check-ins should be used to ensure that the actions of everyone involved in implementation are aligned, and to acknowledge the efforts and achievements of implementation partners.
General Services Administration To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for prize competitions and challenges to hold regular check-ins with those involved in the implementation of an initiative.
Closed - Implemented
In January 2018, General Services Administration staff told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for the implementation of prize competitions and challenges. In December 2017, they revised the Challenges and Prizes Toolkit to encourage agencies to hold regular check-ins with all who are involved in the implementation of an initiative, which can include partners from other federal agencies, the private sector, or non-governmental organizations. The updated Toolkit specifies that check-ins should be used to ensure that the actions of everyone involved in implementation are aligned, and to acknowledge the efforts and achievements of implementation partners.
Office of Management and Budget To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for prize competitions and challenges to acknowledge the efforts and achievements of partners who contributed to the implementation of an initiative.
Closed - Implemented
In January 2018, General Services Administration staff told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for the implementation of prize competitions and challenges. In December 2017, they revised the Challenges and Prizes Toolkit to encourage agencies to acknowledge the efforts of partner organizations that contributed to the implementation of an initiative. The updated Toolkit specifies that agencies should publicly acknowledge the efforts of partners and the contributions they provided to the results of an initiative. It also explains this is important to build a foundation for a partner's continued support of future initiatives.
General Services Administration To help ensure federal agencies effectively design, implement, and assess open innovation initiatives in line with the practices and key actions identified in our past report, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Administrator of the General Services Administration should enhance key guidance for prize competitions and challenges to acknowledge the efforts and achievements of partners who contributed to the implementation of an initiative.
Closed - Implemented
In January 2018, General Services Administration staff told us that they worked with staff from the Office of Management and Budget to enhance key guidance for the implementation of prize competitions and challenges. In December 2017, they revised the Challenges and Prizes Toolkit to encourage agencies to acknowledge the efforts of partner organizations that contributed to the implementation of an initiative. The updated Toolkit specifies that agencies should publicly acknowledge the efforts of partners and the contributions they provided to the results of an initiative. It also explains this is important to build a foundation for a partner's continued support of future initiatives.

Full Report