Today marks the two year anniversary of when HHS launched its first ever Open Government plan, which guided our efforts to make government more transparent, participatory, and collaborative. Over the last several months, the Department of Health and Human Services advanced new ideas and initiatives that will take HHS’s Open Government commitment to the President’s objectives to a new level. The result is our new Version 2.0 of the HHS Open Government plan. There are several new initiatives about which I’d like you to know. I encourage you to see the many ways we are focused on open government principles.

The Version 2.0 plan has three new flagship programs with completion dates in 2013 and 2014 that address open government principles across HHS agencies. The first is a new Innovation Fellows program recently announced by Secretary Sebelius.

This program is designed to pair HHS employees with experts and entrepreneurs from outside government to solve some of the Department’s toughest challenges. Another priority program addresses medical product development through multi-agency collaboration with academia and private sector research. This approach strengthens our capabilities to develop new health technologies which address our nation’s most critical diseases and conditions.  Our third priority builds on our highly successful health data initiative by focusing on new efforts to improve the quality of data and enhance our understanding and use of it. A number of new projects will improve the way our department works with the public to meet critical information needs.

I encourage you to learn more about our new plan and see the diverse ways we are addressing transparency in government. From the start, we’ve asked the public to provide input and comment on our plans. So, thank you for your ideas and suggestions; I urge you to stay involved.  Please continue to submit comments and provide us additional thoughts on ways we can improve upon our goals.  From time to time, my HHS colleagues and I will provide you with progress updates and respond to your feedback.

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