While congressional Republicans and Democrats scramble to find their way following yesterday's elections, the Obama administration is taking steps to try to make government programs work better and to be more open with the American public about how the government operates.
The White House budget office today issued a memo to the heads of all government departments that encourages the sharing of data among these departments. But this approach must be done with a recognition of privacy, according to the memo:
Sharing data in external public policy, scientific, and other areas of research is of value to the public and can promote savings. In cases where high-value data contain information that is protected under federal privacy laws, agencies are encouraged, to the extent permitted by law, to develop and implement arrangements that would permit access to these data for research purposes subject to the appropriate safeguards.