Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), ranking member of the committee, wrote separate letters to NARA and the White House about ensuring records are managed properly.
The White House also released new initiatives to improve agency response to records requests, including tasking the new Chief FOIA Officers Council to identify and address the biggest difficulties in complying with the law and OMB will issue new openness and transparency guidance.
Senate committee lawmakers voted to send a manager’s amendment to the Freedom of Information Act Improvement Act to the full body for consideration. The bill would require agencies to release documents more proactively.
Despite progress by some agencies in processing FOIA requests, Patrice McDermott of OpenTheGovernment.org says its difficult to measure how open the government really is.
President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order and OMB released a new policy requiring agencies to make data machine-readable and use open standards. Agencies must develop an inventory of information and make it publicly available. Good government groups praised the changes but had some concerns around the administration’s decision to apply the policy only to structured data.
OpenTheGovernment.org has sent a letter to OMB calling for the continued protection of open government, even after WikiLeaks.
Some agencies are doing well when it comes to complying with the Open Government Directive, while others are struggling, according to a recent audit.
White House officials say examples of open government will help alter perceptions