from the Obama-Biden Transition Project
From: John Podesta
To: All Obama-Biden Transition Project Staff
Date: December 4, 2008
Re: "Seat at the Table" Transparency Policy -- EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY
As an extension of the unprecedented ethics guidelines already in place
for the Obama-Biden Transition Project, we take another significant
step towards transparency of our efforts for the American people. Every
day, we meet with organizations who present ideas for the Transition
and the Administration, both orally and in writing. We want to ensure
that we give the American people a "seat at the table" and that we
receive the benefit of their feedback.
documents from official meetings with outside organizations will be
posted on our website for people to review and comment on. In addition
to presenting ideas as individuals at www.change.gov,
the American people deserve a "seat at the table" as we receive input
from organizations and make decisions. In the interest of protecting
the personal privacy of individuals, this policy does not apply to
personnel matters and hiring recommendations.
The following information will be posted on our website:
1. Documents: All policy documents1 and
written policy recommendations from official meetings2
with outside organizations.
2. Meetings: The date and organizations represented at official
meetings in the Transition headquarters or agency offices, with any
documents presented as noted above.
This scope is a floor,
not a ceiling, and all staff are strongly encouraged to include
additional materials. Such materials could include documents
(recommendations, press releases, etc.) presented in smaller meetings
or materials or made public by the outside organization without a
connection to an official meeting.
If you have any questions as to whether documents should be included,
please email [REDACTED].
Prior to an official meeting with an outside organization or
organizations, Obama-Biden Transition Project staff members will inform
attendees that any documents provided will be posted on our "Seat at
the Table" website found at www.change.gov.
Suggested language for email invitations is: "By presenting or
submitting any document at a meeting with the Obama-Biden Transition
Project, you agree to allow the document to be made public and posted
At the completion of each meeting or upon receipt of such documents,
Transition staff will provide the documents to [REDACTED] with the date
of the meeting, a list of the organizations in attendance, and the
topic of the meeting.
1) This policy does not apply to non-public or classified information
acquired from the Agency Review Process and internal memorandum.
An "official meeting" is defined as a meeting with outside
organizations or representatives of those organizations to which three
or more outside participants attend.