OpenGov National Archives

Open Government Plan 2016 - 2018

National Archives and Records Administration

Section 1: The Approach to Open Government

Agency Open Government Plans serve as a public roadmap that shows how an agency intends to incorporate the principles of open government—transparency, participation, and collaboration—into its core mission. Incorporating these values into the core mission of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA or National Archives) is an easy task because open government is fundamental to our work.

Since our founding as a federal agency in 1934, NARA has had the great responsibility to preserve and provide access to our nation’s records. As part of the development of our agency’s Strategic Plan for Fiscal Year 2014–2018, we revised our mission statement to further highlight our important role in open government:

We drive openness, cultivate public participation, and strengthen our nation’s democracy through public access to high-value government records.

Our mission is to provide public access to federal government records in our custody and control. Public access to government records strengthens democracy by allowing Americans to claim their rights of citizenship, hold their government accountable, and understand their history so they can participate more effectively in their government.

You will find evidence of our embrace of transparency, participation, and collaboration throughout our current Strategic Plan, our past open government plans, and in the work we do every day. With our fourth Open Government Plan, we intend to build on existing efforts and push for further innovation over the next two years. We welcome your input and help in shaping these open government initiatives.

Please visit to learn more about open government at the National Archives. To provide comments, suggestions, and feedback on this plan or specific initiatives, please email, visit the NARAtions Blog at, or log on to the Open Government section of the History Hub at