The Freedom of Information Act just turned 50. Journalists, lawyers and others are largely applauding the new FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, which President Barack Obama signed into law at the end of June. But there’s still a lot more work to be done to improve the way agencies give information to the public. Open government experts say agencies need more help from Congress to create a culture of openness and transparency. Federal News Radio’s Nicole Ogrysko offers more on the subject on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Congress passed a bill updating the Freedom of Information Act process, placing the burden on the agency to justify why it has to withhold information rather than asking the requester to justify its release
One of government’s leading officials on the Freedom of Information Act says agencies need more open channels of communication with members of public seeking government records.
Alex Howard of the Sunlight Foundation discusses the legislation now being negotiated to codify new reforms to the Freedom of Information Act.
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator Howard Shelanski defended his office against claims from House Oversight and Government Reform Committee members that OIRA doesn’t do enough to communicate with other agencies and with the general public.
18F released a draft RFQ and a draft of the agency’s transparency policy it plans to include for its agile BPA. The announcement was made on the second day of Sunshine Week, which highlights the importance of open government.
Tom Sharpe, commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service, said over the summer the General Services Administration would make access to the e-Buy tool available to the public. Two weeks before the end of the year, the transparency effort continues to hit roadblocks.
When it comes to government transparency, the Freedom of Information Act officers at federal agencies have a lot of catching up to do.
The Commerce Department recently hired its first ever chief data officer. The inaugural role went to Ian Kalin. He’s a Navy veteran and came over from the private sector, having worked at Google and startups like Socrata. There, he helped modernize data and transparency programs. His first day on the job was Monday. He joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin with more on his new position.
The government has started releasing comprehensive indexes of data showing how agencies operate and conduct oversight. That’s in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from the Sunlight Foundation. It’s been more than a year in the making, and most of the data has never been publicly identified before. Matt Rumsey, the director of the Advisory Committee on Transparency at the Sunlight Foundation, joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with more on just what’s in those indexes.