In This Issue: [click on the link to go to the corresponding section]
Over the last weekend in March, the Sunlight Foundation hosted TransparencyCamp 2010 at the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management. During the two day "unconference," a wide range of open government advocates, including government representatives, technologists, journalists, developers, activists, and NGO’s, from across the country (and the globe) connected to talk about how technology can be used to make the government more open and accountable.
On March 31, the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) posted its annual report on the operations of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This year’s release includes a new Taxpayer Returns application that allows all Americans to easily examine the kinds of income flowing to the taxpayers in every state and the more than 3,000 counties in the nation.
Tomorrow, April 7, marks the next milestone of the Open Government Directive: agencies are required to publish their Open Government Plans, providing the public with a wealth of information about how agencies intend to create a lasting culture of openness. The requirements for each plan are spelled out in an attachment to the Directive. About 29 agencies are required by the Directive to post these plans, and several additional agencies have taken it upon themselves to develop and post plans. OpenTheGovernment.org has recruited help from several coalition partners and others to evaluate and grade each plan on whether it lives up to both the letter, and the spirit, of the requirements. Check out the Evaluating Open Government Site to view these evaluations, to comment on any part of the plans you think are impressive, and to make concrete suggestions on how the agency could improve its plan.
On March 25th, Representatives Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Darrell Issa (R-CA) announced the launch of a Bipartisan Transparency Caucus. The purpose of the Caucus is to promote legislation that requires federal information to be freely accessible, as well as advocate for new initiatives that support transparency. (Follow the link to read the Caucus’ list of principles.) In response to a Dear Colleague circulated to Congress by Representatives Quigley and Issa, at least 18 members have expressed interest in joining the caucus.