NOAA Takes Lead on Protecting Scientific Integrity

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) efforts to protect scientific integrity make the agency a leader among its federal counterparts, OMB Watch said in comments filed last week.

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Scientific Integrity Policies Moving Forward, But Still Little Sunlight

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced in a blog post today that nearly all the agencies participating in the development of scientific integrity policies had submitted draft policies to OSTP. The deadline for agencies to do so was last week. The State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are behind schedule but are expected to submit their policies soon.

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Administration Seeks Transparency Ideas

The administration yesterday rolled out the awaited next phase of public consultations for its Open Government Partnership (OGP) action plan. The announcement asked for comments on three specific issues where the administration could make worthwhile gains on transparency.

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Secret Watchlists: Don’t Ask, Because Uncle Sam Won’t Tell

Department of Homeland Security seal

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is operating a massive new database of personal information. But if you want to know if you're in the database, you'll be out of luck. A proposed rule by DHS would keep the database secret by exempting it from nearly every provision of the Privacy Act.

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Administration Seeks to Ensure Information is Accessible for People with Disabilities

The Obama administration is working to ensure that government information is accessible for people with disabilities, the White House announced in a statement last week. Accessibility is a critical element to protecting all Americans' right to know, and the administration is right to seek to improve it.

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Freedom of Information is a Human Right, UN Body Says

Access to government information is a human right, according to a commentary issued today by the United Nations' Human Rights Committee. The comment is the most comprehensive statement to date embracing freedom of information as integral to human rights under international law.

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Federal Website Reform Efforts Moving Forward

The Obama administration's reform of federal websites moved forward yesterday, but without shedding much light on what impact the effort will have on open government. The effort, which was launched in a June 13 memo from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), is meant to cut costs while improving service.

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Agencies Will Revise Their FOIA Regulations (...Or Not)

The Spring 2011 Unified Agenda was released today, reporting agencies' regulatory changes to be considered in the next six months. According to the Unified Agenda, several agencies intend to revise their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regulations this year, but there are reasons to take that with a grain of salt.

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Do We Need an App for That?

The General Services Administration (GSA) last week launched the Making Mobile Gov project to encourage agencies to offer more services for mobile devices such as phones and tablets.

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Spending Bill Would Hide Consumer Safety Risks, Money in Politics

Consumer product safety risks would be concealed and influence peddling in government contracting would remain out of public view under the provisions of the fiscal year (FY) 2012 spending bill approved today by the House Financial Services and General Government appropriations subcommittee.

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