Letter from the Secretary

Picture of Secretary Donovan

Our Democracy depends on citizens having access to information that allows them to participate more fully in public life, helps them determine priorities for public spending, ensures equal access to justice, and encourages Americans to hold their public officials accountable.

At HUD, I am proud to say that over the past year we have put transparency and accountability front and center with the Recovery Act and the development of our long-term Strategic Plan, a key part of the agency's Transformation Initiative.

Within a month of President Obama taking office HUD was helping to create jobs and build and preserve affordable housing through the Recovery Act. It is vitally important that the American people are fully aware of how their tax dollars are being spent and can hold their federal leaders accountable. Therefore, every dollar of Recovery Act funds HUD spends can be reviewed and tracked at HUD's Recovery Act website. The full text of HUD's funding notices and tracking of future performance of these grants is also available on the site.

In the fall of 2009, HUD embarked on a strategic planning process to set the overall direction of the agency over the next six years. It has been a highly inclusive process-perhaps one of the most inclusive in HUD's history. In creating its FY2010-2015 Strategic Plan, HUD employed a broad engagement strategy to seek input from its many knowledgeable employees, stakeholders and partners - voices critical to HUD's transformation. The thoughts and ideas of over 1,500 HUD employees and partners have been incorporated into HUD's Strategic Plan. In addition, through an interactive website, HUD Ideas in Action we provided an opportunity for all 9,500 HUD employees and countless external stakeholders and the public at large to provide input and feedback on the goals and sub-goals proposed for the Strategic Plan.

Now we are taking the next step with the creation of HUD's Open Government Plan.

Our Open Government Plan was developed by a cross-functional team that included representatives from each of HUD's major program and support areas. This team identified actionable and realistic steps the Department could undertake so that open government activities would result in measurable performance benefits for our customers. While the team provided the basic framework for this plan, we would not have been able to develop a comprehensive plan without input from our stakeholders.

We are committed to changing the culture at HUD so that it better serves you. Now is the time to begin transforming HUD's housing and community development programs, and the administrative infrastructure that supports them, so they are more transparent, streamlined, and accountable.

I am committed to not only ensuring that this Open Government Plan will be implemented, but more importantly, I am committed to listening to you and ensuring that it serves as a catalyst to spur even more significant innovations in how we measure and achieve our strategic goals and objectives.


Secretary Shaun Donovan