OpenGov Initiatives



The ODNI is committed to increasing openness within the Government and with the American people, as prescribed in the Jan. 21, 2009, White House Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government.

Therefore the ODNI will continue to make every effort to increase transparency, while also protecting classified and sensitive national security information and intelligence sources and methods from unauthorized disclosures.


ODNI's most recent Open Government Plan describes in detail how the ODNI currently promotes openness, identifies active public disclosure initiatives, and presents new initiatives planned for FY 2014 and beyond, including


New or Expanded Initiatives

  • Open Data
  • Proactive Disclosures
  • Privacy
  • Whistleblower Protection
  • Websites and Social Media

Ongoing Initiatives

  • Records Management
  • Freedom of Information Act Requests
  • Public Participation
  • Collaboration
  • Information Sharing

Specific initiatives supporting ODNI's ongoing commitment to transparent, participatory, collaborative government are detailed below.


ODNI Public Access Plan

On Feb. 22, 2013, the Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a memorandum (“Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research”) that directed federal agencies with over $100 million in annual conduct of research and development expenditures to develop plans to support increased public access to the results of research funded by the Federal Government.

In response to the OSTP memo, ODNI has developed a public access plan which address the public access directive. As the primary research organization within the ODNI, please visit the IAPRA website for more information regarding the ODNI plan.


ODNI Customer Service Plan

As required by Executive Order 13571, Streamlining Service Delivery and Improving Customer Service, ODNI has developed a Customer Service Plan, which identifies specific actions that further advance ODNI customer service, including initiatives establish new service infrastructure and standards – as well as to track performance against those standards.

Emerging communication technologies, including social media and computer and mobile applications, provide ODNI with new opportunities to interact with customers, stakeholders and the general public as well as new avenues to disseminate information broadly that increases public understanding our intelligence integration mission.


Transparency Implementation Plan

In June 2014, the DNI instructed the ODNI’s Civil Liberties Protection Officer to coordinate the development of a new strategic approach to intelligence transparency as part of the imperative and to earn and retain public trust. The significance of increased transparency was also reflected in the 2014 National Intelligence Strategy, which called upon the IC to “continue to implement approaches to provide appropriate transparency.”

In February 2015, the Director of National Intelligence published the Principles of Intelligence Transparency for the Intelligence Community. These Principles are intended to facilitate Intelligence Community decisions on making information publicly available in a manner that enhances public understanding of intelligence activities, while continuing to protect information when disclosure would harm national security.


Intelligence Community Commitments in the Third National Action Plan for Open Government

Released on Oct. 27, 2015, the @whitehouse‘s third U.S. Open Government National Action Plan contains multiple transparency-related commitments from the U.S. Intelligence Community. For more, see pages 7 and 8 of the NAP.


Statistical Transparency Report Regarding Use of National Security Authorities

In June 2013, President Obama directed the Intelligence Community (IC) to declassify and make public as much information as possible about certain sensitive U.S. government surveillance programs while protecting sensitive classified intelligence and national security information.

Since then, the Director of National Intelligence has declassified and authorized the public release of thousands of pages of documents relating to the use of critical national security authorities, including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. In addition to declassifying and publicly releasing these documents, the Intelligence Community has published several reports regarding these authorities, including the Statistical Transparency Report Regarding use of National Security Authorities, presenting metrics related to the use of certain authorities for calendar years 2013 and 2014.

On June 2, 2015, the USA FREEDOM Act was enacted, codifying many of the statistics reported in the DNI’s annual transparency reports. The Act also expanded the scope of the information included in the reports by requiring the DNI to report information concerning United States person search terms and queries of certain unminimized, FISA-acquired information, as well as information concerning unique identifiers used to communicate information collected pursuant to certain FISA orders. The IC implemented the USA FREEDOM Act on Nov. 30, 2015.


Signals Intelligence Reform Progress Reports

The United States has undertaken a comprehensive effort to examine and enhance the privacy and civil liberty protections we embed in our signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection activities. As part of this process, we have sought — and benefited from — a broad cross section of views, ideas, and recommendations from oversight bodies, advocacy organizations, private companies, and the general public. This effort has resulted in strengthened privacy and civil liberty protections; new limits on signals intelligence collection and use; and increased transparency.


IC Demographic Reporting

Consistent with Section 114 of the “National Security Act of 1947,” as amended by Section 324 of the “Intelligence Authorization Act of 2003,” the Director of National Intelligence is disclosing to the public a summary of the demographic data on the population of minorities, women, and persons with disabilities employed by the United States Intelligence Community during fiscal year 2015 (between Oct. 1, 2014, and Sept. 30, 2015).

The report also highlights key initiatives and accomplishments and tracks the IC’s progress and areas for improvement in diversity hiring, promotion, career development, and attrition. Overall, the FY 2015 analysis indicates that the IC continues to make progress in increasing the representation of minorities, women, and persons with disabilities (PWD). Five­ year trends (FY 2011-20 15) in hiring and attrition dynamics indicate a gradual increase in minority representation over time.


IC Technical Specifications

The successes of our intelligence, defense, homeland security, and law enforcement missions are critically dependent on information producers and consumers being able to share, manage, discover, retrieve and access information across national and international boundaries.

To automate the enterprise, data, service, network and information assurance architecture and engineering efforts must come together in response to defined mission and business requirements. These enterprise data specifications are the result of IC collaboration and coordination in response to public law, executive orders, DNI policy and guidance, and change requests submitted by IC elements.


FOIA Proactive Disclosure

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is one of seven federal agencies participating in a pilot program to make records requested via the Freedom of Information Act more readily available to the public, as reflected in the Third National Action Plan for Open Government. Over the course of the pilot, ODNI will note the release of new “proactive disclosure” documents here on IC on the Record. Read about the Department of Justice's assessment of the FOIA Proactive Disclosure pilot program.


Global Trends

For nearly two decades, the National Intelligence Council's Global Trends project has been shaping strategic conversations within and beyond the U.S. government. Critical to its insight and policy-relevance have been meetings worldwide with a wide range of interlocutors—including government officials, scholars, business people, civil society representatives, and others—in workshops, exchanges, and other events designed to stimulate thinking about possible global trajectories and discontinuities over the next two decades.

The NIC seeks a range of perspectives to help it identify and understand the key trends and choices likely to shape the future. Based on this and other research, the NIC will provide the President, Administration, and public an assessment of the future strategic landscape, just after each Presidential Election and before the Inauguration. In addition to meeting with more than 2,000 interlocutors in dozens of countries worldwide, the NIC is leveraging Tumblr and other social media platforms to diversify the perspectives it engages and to extend the Global Trends conversation to new communities.


Bin Laden's Bookshelf

In the weeks following the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, by United States forces, U.S. Intelligence Community analysts sifted through the recovered digital and hard copy materials in search of clues that would reveal ongoing al-Qa`ida plots, identities and locations of al-Qa`ida personnel, and other information of immediate importance.

On May 20, 2015, the ODNI released a sizeable tranche of documents recovered from the compound used to hide Osama bin Laden. March 1, 2016, marks the release of the second tranche of material gleaned from the Abbottabad raid. The third and final tranche of documents was released Jan. 19, 2017. These releases, which followed a rigorous interagency review, align with the President’s call for increased transparency–consistent with national security prerogatives–and the 2014 Intelligence Authorization Act, which required the ODNI to conduct a review of the documents for release.


President's Daily Brief - Historical Releases

In August 2016, the CIA released 2,500 pages of previously classified President’s Daily Briefing matierlals from the Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford administrations on Wednesday, August 24, at a symposium held by the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California. This follows a previous September 2015, release at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum in Austin, Texas, during which the CIA released previously classified daily briefings it gave to Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and John F. Kennedy in the 1960s. CIA's information management officers worked with their counterparts at the National Security Council and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on the review and declassification of these documents.


Argentina Declassification Project

In August 2016 the U.S. government posted 1,078 pages of newly declassified records relating to human rights abuses under Argentina’s 1976-1983 dictatorship. The project greatly expands upon the State Department’s 2002 effort to declassify its cables and records related to individual human rights abuses in Argentina. The U.S. government will release additional declassified documents over the next 18 months as part of a comprehensive effort by over 14 government agencies and departments to search their records and declassify them for public access, consistent with the need to protect national security. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence leads this effort, with support from the White House. Agency records managers, archivists, historians and declassification and information access professionals contribute to this effort.


IC on the Record

IC on the Record provides direct access to factual information related to the lawful foreign surveillance activities of the U.S. Intelligence Community. Created at the direction of the President of the United States and maintained by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.


Protecting Whistleblowers with Access to Classified Information

Under the Third Open Government National Action Plan, issued on Oct. 27, 2015, the Director of National Intelligence committed to develop a common whistleblower training curriculum that can be adopted by all federal agencies covered under Presidential Policy Directive 19, Protecting Whistleblowers with Access to Classified Information.  In coordination with other government stakeholders and civil society, the Director of National Intelligence developed the Protecting Whistleblowers with Access to Classified Information training curriculum to ensure that all Executive Branch employees – including contractors, managers, and supervisors – understand the roles, responsibilities, and rights of whistleblowers eligible for access to classified information.

This four-part curriculum trains personnel eligible for access to classified information to effectively report illegality, waste, fraud, and abuse while protecting classified national security information.  The curriculum includes stand-alone modules that address (1) general information on whistleblowing and the process for making a protected disclosure; (2) processes for addressing adverse, retaliatory actions affecting a security clearance; (3) processes for addressing adverse, retaliatory personnel actions; and (4) best practices for managers and supervisors.  The training also defines key terms and provides references for applicable whistleblower laws and policies.  This training is provided as a resource for Executive Branch agencies and is intended to be customized to suit each agency’s whistleblower training program.

View a fact sheet on the curriculum here.

View the memo for Common Training Curriculum for Protecting Whistleblowers with Access to Classified Information here.


Open Government Policy