Time for Agency Data Quality Plans Comes and Goes with Little to Show

The Open Government Directive (OGD) issued on December 8, 2009 included a mandate that all agencies create a data quality plan that enhanced the transparency of how agencies spend federal funds.  Two weeks ago, these plans were supposed to be finalized and released to the public but so far we can only find one agency’s plan.

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Data.gov Celebrates First Birthday with a Makeover

Happy Birthday, Dear Data.gov!The website that currently stores thousands of databases containing federal agency information received a welcome makeover last week as its first birthday present.  Since its launch last year, the Data.gov has sparked a national and global movement amongst governments interested in increasing their transparency.

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OMB Restricts Authority of Paperwork Reduction Act on Social Media but Some Controls Remain

Today, the Obama administration cleared a major hurdle for agencies seeking to solicit public input into policymaking and implementing the reforms called for in the Open Government Directive (OGD) issued on December 8, 2009.  The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memo that exempts web-based interactive technologies from the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA).  Now, agencies are freer than before to communicate with the public in an unstructured way but there are still some restrictions on the solicitation of structured feedback.

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Congress forms Caucus on Transparency: Plans to Focus on Education, Legislation, and Oversight

Today, Reps. Michael Quigley (D-IL) and Darrell Issa (R-CA) announced the creation of the bipartisan Congressional Transparency Caucus in the House of Representatives.  The Caucus will work to develop policies and data standards that will give Americans better abilities to scrutinize the actions of government.

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Sunshine Week 2010 Webcast TODAY @ Noon

On his first full day in office, President Obama committed his Administration "to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government." To help meet that goal, the Administration has issued an Open Government Directive and a new Memorandum on Freedom of Information Act and Attorney General Guidelines. The Administration has also launched an expansive effort to open up data to developers, advocates, and the public via Data.gov. Join OpenTheGovernment.org for this three panel event to hear our panelists -- transparency experts from inside and outside government-- discuss these initiatives and their effect on the public. Panelists will also take questions from the live and viewing audience.  Watch live here.

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Celebrate President Madison's Birthday with Sunshine Week!

James Madison’s birthday is an exciting time for open-government wonks.  Madison, the father of our Constitution and fourth president, was an outspoken advocate of open government.  This is why we dedicate an entire week to heightened public advocacy of transparency issues through public events, legislative initiatives, and op-eds.  This year offers several opportunities for public participation.

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D.C. Court Rejects OMB Assertion of FOIA Exemptions

Today, the DC Circuit court reissued an opinion in Public Citizen v. OMB that rejected the agency’s use of exemptions 2 and 5 of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  OMB had attempted to withhold information from Public Citizen that detailed which agencies submit materials to Congress without clearance by OMB.  This court case adds an important legal support to the FOIA practice of discretionary disclosure.

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What Information do you want from YOUR Government?

Curious about the information government is tracking about your community’s health?  What about data on the wetlands in your area?  Or perhaps the federal contracts going to your community’s businesses?  Well, now is the time to let the government know what you want to see.  They're listening.

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FCC Seeks Public Input on the Future of Media

As the role of the Internet in daily life expands rapidly, and with the role of newspapers and traditional journalism in steep decline, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is soliciting public input on possible changes to federal policy.  These policy changes would, hopefully, ensure that media remains strong enough to inform the public, protect consumers, and hold our leaders accountable.

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Administration Releases Framework for Spending Data Quality

On Friday, the White House met another Open Government Directive deadline by issuing a framework for federal spending data quality.  The framework requires that agencies submit plans by April 14 for improving quality of their spending data, implementing internal controls and process changes.  

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