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Open Government Report

To institutionalize a culture of transparent and open government, accountability, and to expand opportunities for resident participation and collaboration, this Report describes how the Department of Public Works has and will continue to develop and enhance transparency, public participation, and collaboration.  In accordance with Mayor’s Order 2014-170, this report addresses the following topics:

1) Transparency

Describe the steps your agency has taken or plans to take to be more transparent. Please include a description of:

  • How and to what extent your agency shares information with the public, e.g. publication of information in the District register and on the agency website, press releases, and documents in the agency’s FOIAXpress reading room.

The Department of Public Works communicates daily with the public through our Twitter and Facebook accounts, neighborhood listservs and through news releases describing service delivery, e.g., holiday trash/recycling collection schedules. DPW also conducts a monthly online live chat with Director Howland and other DPW officials about various services.

  • How the agency meets its obligations pursuant to the District’s Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act.

DPW responds in a timely manner to all Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.  DPW is one of many agencies using the new FOIAXpress software to process FOIA requests and share information

This spring, DPW conducted two public meetings to receive community input to inform the Solid Waste Strategy Roadmap, a plan being developed to determine how to dispose of solid waste in the future.

  • Steps your agency will take to increase public access to information.

DPW is launching its Instagram site in FY 2015.

  • Steps your agency will take, including an implementation timeline, to webcast live and archive on the internet board or commission meetings.  (This question only applies to agencies that are overseen or advised by a board or commission that is subject to the Open Meetings Act.)


  • How your agency has taken or plans to take steps to make more of its data available to the public. 

DPW is working closely with the Office of the City Administrator (OCA) and the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) to identify a significant number of datasets that OCA and OCTO expect to publish online later this year. If no dataset from DPW is selected to be included in this 2014 release, we will continue to work with OCA and OCTO to identify datasets appropriate to publish in 2015. In the future, requirements for open data reporting will be provided by the Chief Data Officer.

2) Public Engagement and Participation

Describe the steps your agency has taken or plans to take to enhance or expand opportunities for the public to participate in agency decision-making.  Please include a description of:

  • How your agency provides online access to proposed rules and regulations and secures public input on them. Please list links to specific websites. 


  • How your agency shares information and resources to keep the public properly informed, e.g. community meetings, public hearings, FAQs, and ways the public can provide input such as Twitter,, email contacts.

DPW has a very strong presence on Twitter, Facebook, neighborhood listservs and Residents and others use these communications channels to seek and receive information from us. DPW’s Solid Waste Education and Enforcement Program (SWEEP) staff regularly attend community meetings, special events, e.g., Truck Touch and other government-sponsored events, and walk-throughs to share information about proper sanitation practices. As mentioned above, DPW also conducts a monthly online live chat where the public can interact with DPW officials, including Director Howland, about our services.

  • How your agency identifies stakeholders and invites their participation.

DPW considers all residents to be among our stakeholders; therefore, we use multiple means to engage with them.

  • Steps your agency will take to improve public engagement and participation including any new feedback tools or mechanisms the agency is considering.

DPW is launching our Instagram site in FY 2015.

3) Collaboration

Describe the steps your agency has taken or plans to take to enhance or expand cooperation among departments, other governmental agencies, the public, and non-profit and private entities in fulfilling its obligations.  Please include a description of:

  • How your agency currently collaborates with the above parties.  Please list links to specific websites if appropriate.

A prime example is the Snow and Ice Removal Program. The snow program is among the District’s most integrated operations, involving DPW, DDOT, DGS, OUC, DC Water, DOC, HSEMA, MPD, FEMS, and DCPS, depending upon the severity of the weather.

Serve DC and the DC Office on Aging will assist seniors and persons with disabilities with clearing their sidewalks of snow and ice.

  • Steps your agency will take to improve collaboration with the above parties including any new feedback tools or mechanisms the agency is considering, e.g. prizes, competitions, and other innovative methods.

DPW will conduct a joint “One Fund” outreach event November 14 with several other DC government agencies to extend our reach to interest employees in donating to the non-profits participating in this program.