The Defense Department is now required to post all reports to Congress on a "publicly accessible Internet website," whether they're requested or not.
With a push for governments worldwide to open more data publicly there have been plenty of open data advocates touting the power and potential of open data. But Sascha Meinrath, vice president of the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute, says after a brief uptick in open government data, retraction is on its way.
The final version of a new White House open government action plan is substantially expanded from a recently circulated preliminary draft – although many of the actions called for in the plan aren't new initiatives.
Two academics who set out to analyze government grants to nonprofit organizations found that the databases housing that information continue to resist easy use.
The House passed Nov. 19 the DATA Act (H.R. 2061), which requires federal agencies and departments to release more complete and higher-quality spending data. The bill also shifts oversight of federal spending transparency dashboard USASpending.gov from the Office of Management and Budget to the Treasury Department.
A congressional beta website for tracking legislation more than a year in the making will soon become the default source of bill data, the Library of Congress announced earlier this month.
The United States made six new commitments, including expanding open data and modernizing the Freedom of Information Act, in an updated national action plan released in draft form by the White House Oct. 31. The United States issued the draft set of commitments during the Open Government Summit in London.
Freedom of Information Act processing at many agencies has been delayed because the majority of FOIA professionals were furloughed as non-excepted employees during the government's 16-day shutdown. Unfortunately, the FOIA statute does not address government shutdowns, writes Kristen Mitchell, a facilitator at the National Archives and Records Administration's office of government information services, in an Oct. 24 blog post.
Since USASpending.gov's launch 6 years ago, the quality of financial data reported by agencies has worsened, said Tom Lee, director of the Sunlight Foundation's Sunlight Labs. "According to USASpending.gov the United States spent zero dollars on Medicare insurance and zero dollars on Medicare prescription drugs in 2011, 2012 and 2013," Lee told a Senate Committee.
The Government Accountability Office is concerned that the Government Accountability and Transparency Board is hamstrung because it has no dedicated funding, no role in actual policy implementation and has not developed mechanisms for obtaining input from non-federal fund recipients.