Improving Access

New Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act being drafted in secret

Background: Over the past year, the openness community has joined privacy and civil liberties groups in fighting the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), legislation that undermines transparency and enhances surveillance while doing little to improve the government’s ability to combat cyber threats.

Openness groups submit comments on OMB’s “Circular A-130” guidance

Today, OpenTheGovernment.org, Association of Research Libraries, Government Accountability Project, and American Association of Law Libraries submitted comments on the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)’s revisions to the governing document establishing policies for the management of federal information resources. We were joined by 7 other organizations in our coalition.
 

Openness groups call for DHS FOIA provisions to enshrine the “presumption of openness”

Open government and accountability organizations submitted comments yesterday on the proposal to amend the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) regulations under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The letter expresses concerns that certain provisions of the proposed regulations could hinder the FOIA process, and provides recommendations on how the new provisions can go further to ensure greater access to public interest information.

New OGIS Report Highlights Need for FOIA Reform; Observes “lack of knowledge” about FOIA Guidelines

In its second National Action Plan (NAP) for the Open Government Partnership (OGP), the White House committed to standardizing FOIA practices across federal agencies, improving agency FOIA processes by reducing backlogs and promoting proactive disclosure, and increasing FOIA trainings across the government. A new report from the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), made public on Friday, shows that the Administration’s commitments thus far have not led to significant FOIA improvements in poor-performing agencies, and illustrates the need for the government to adopt more ambitious commitments on FOIA in its forthcoming third Plan.

Sunshine Week’s Transparency Legislation; CISA Threats Move Forward

This Sunshine Week, members of Congress stepped up to introduce legislation to increase openness and accountability in all branches of the federal government. Senators Dick Durbin and Chuck Grassley introduced legislation to require the Supreme Court’s open proceedings to be televised. Similar legislation passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2012 and 2010. Rep. Gerard Connolly introduced identical legislation (HR 94) in February.