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Commitment Analysis: Big Data Openness and Accountability in the Second National Action Plan

The following analysis is from Khaliah Barnes, Director of the Student Privacy Project and Administrative Law Counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC).

The Obama Administration’s Second Open Government National Action Plan aims to “use big data to support greater openness and accountability.” The Administration has committed to:

  • Enhance sharing of best practices on data privacy for state and local law enforcement;
  • Ensure privacy protection for big data analyses in health; and
  • Expand technical expertise in government to stop discrimination.

OTG Colleagues Make the Case for Transparency

This month, the Brookings Center for Effective Public Management published “Why Critics of Transparency Are Wrong,” an article debunking myths about transparency in government. The piece, written by the Project On Government Oversight’s Danielle Brian, the Bauman Foundation’s Gary D.

Office of Special Counsel Releases Open Government Plan; Some Required Plans Still Missing

Although it was not required to do so under the Open Government Directive, the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) recently released its open government plan, spotlighting an initiative to prevent employer retaliation against whistleblowers.

Players or Spectators: Observations on CSO Participation in the OGP

OpenTheGovernment.org was pleased to host Al Kags as a Mandela Washington Fellow this summer. Mr. Kags is the founder of the Open Institute, a "think-do tank" that collaborates with governments and civil society groups on open government issues.

In partnership with OTG, Mr.Kags and the Open Institute present an insightful analysis of the role of civil society in the Open Government Partnership. In addition to observations drawn from conversations with government officials and civil society representatives from several OGP countries, the report features recommendations for improving CSO participation.

Time to Open Up Party Conference and Caucus Rules

Twenty-five groups dedicated to openness and accountability asked the leaders of Congressional party caucuses and conferences to post their rules online. Public access to these rules would provide essential information about how Congress governs—how legislation leaves chambers, who may lead committees, and more.

Join the Celebration of Global Legislative Openness Week

From September 15th to 25th, civil society groups and governments will kick start an international dialogue on open parliamentary practices. GLOW is organized by the Legislative Openness Working Group of the Open Government Partnership.

Court Records Disappear from PACER

On August 11th, Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) deleted records from several federal courts from its online database with little notice, once again spotlighting how PACER obstructs public access to court records. PACER is maintained by the Administrative Office of the US Courts and charges 10 cents for each page of public court documents downloaded.

Weigh in on the FOIA Improvement Act

The public’s right to know is at the heart of the United States’ founding, enabling public debate and informed dissent. The federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reflects this tenet by giving any member of the public the ability to ask for a copy of a government record, and giving them the ability to ask a Court to intervene if the government refuses to comply with the law.

 

Agencies Begin to Publish Open Gov Plans 3.0

According to updated guidance the Administration issued on agency open government plans, agencies were supposed to publish updated plans to make themselves more open, participatory and collaborative. To help the open government community keep track of which agencies have posted plans and make it easy to see what kind of activities agencies intend to engage in over the next two years, OpenTheGovernment.org created the below spreadsheet.

Testimony: Controlled Unclassified Information

On May 29th, 2014 Executive Director Patrice McDermott testified before the Subcommittee on Government Operations of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Her testimony addressed the growing use of the unclassified designation of information in executive branch departments and agencies.

The Classified Section

Check out our new blog, The Classified Section, for analysis of national security secrecy.

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