The Sunlight Foundation’s newest online tool, Docket Wrench, gives users a better view of influence in the rulemaking process. Docket Wrench helps users sort through rulemaking comments to identify trends in commenting and influence. You can learn more about the tool’s capability on the Sunlight Foundation Blog.
The United States PIRG, an OpenTheGovernment.org partner, published its report “Transparency in City Spending: Rating the Availability of Online Government Data in America’s Largest Cities” in January. According to the report, “17 of America’s 30 most populous cities provide online databases of government expenditures with “checkbook-level” detail.” Last year, the US PIRG looked at the availability of state government spending information.
Sunshine Week 2013 will take place March 10th to 15th, throughout Washington, DC, and across the United States. On the morning of Friday, March 15th, OpenTheGovernment.org and the First Amendment Center will host a Sunshine Week celebration of National Freedom of Information Day at the Newseum in Washington, DC.
This year, after taking a quick look at from where we’ve come, we’ll focus on moving forward. In a departure from the traditional panel format, the morning will feature four smaller panels. Each panel will include a speaker or two outlining how the Obama Administration could make real progress on an open government issue in the short-and medium-term, and a respondent from the government or a former government employee. The featured topics will be FOIA and proactive disclosure, spending transparency, declassification, and ethics disclosure. The afternoon will feature clips from the upcoming documentary, “War on Whisteblowers,” and a discussion with featured journalists and whistleblowers.
Can’t wait until March? The event’s sponsors, the American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, have refreshed the Sunshine Week website, www.sunshineweek.org with and up-to-date calendar of events and a “Sunshine Week Toolkit” that will soon include op-eds, cartoons, public-service ads, and logos to help participants and planners get ready for the event.