Focus Issues

Coalition praises removal of harmful FOIA exemptions from final NDAA legislation

WASHINGTON, November 30, 2016 – In a major win for government openness and accountability, Congress has removed three harmful exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) from the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2017. The FOIA exemptions would have severely undermined the FOIA by creating an unnecessary secrecy provision and a carve-out from the FOIA for the Pentagon.

Coalition calls for President Obama to take urgent action on national security transparency and accountability

WASHINGTON, November 21, 2016 – Today, a coalition of organizations committed to promoting government openness and accountability, and to the defense of civil liberties, civil rights, and privacy rights, is calling on President Obama to take urgent steps to disclose information related to critical areas of national security-related secrecy before the end of his term.

OTG's Patrice McDermott joins Transparency Caucus briefing panel

On September 21, OTG's Patrice McDermott spoke at a Congressional Transparency Caucus briefing hosted by Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA). The panel was moderated by Demand Progress' Daniel Schuman, and also included Shanna Devine (Government Accountability Project) and Christian Hoehner (Data Transparency Coalition).

OTG endorses Promoting Transparency in Trade Act

Thursday, Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI) introduced H.R. 6141, the Promoting Transparency in Trade Act. OpenTheGovernment.org supports this important bill, which would make significant strides in making the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and U.S. trade negotiations more transparent.

Updated: Questions for 2016 Candidates for Federal Offices on Government Accountability, Public Disclosure, and the Right to Know

OpenTheGovernment.org and the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) have drafted these open government-related questions that can be asked of all candidates for federal office.  Our hope is that they will be used broadly - by editorial boards, reporters covering the 2016 campaigns, and interested members of the public who have an opportunity to speak with candidates.

Coalition submits comments opposing FBI proposal to exempt controversial biometrics database from Privacy Act protections

Today, OpenTheGovernment.org submitted comments -- endorsed by civil rights, human rights, immigrant rights, privacy and transparency organizations -- to the Department of Justice about proposed Privacy Act exemptions to the FBI’s biometrics database – the Next Generation Identification (NGI) system. The comments oppose the FBI proposal to exempt the NGI system from virtually every key provision of the Privacy Act. The comments call for stro