Policy and News Updates for August 31, 2010



In This Issue: [click on the link to go to the corresponding section]

 

News from Coalition Partners & Others

I. Annual Secrecy Report Card Coming Soon

II. National Archives and Records Administration Records Management Update

III. New Resources and Information Available on OGIS Website

News from Coalition Partners & Others

POGO: A Tribute to Beth Daley

On August 22, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) solemnly announced the passing of Beth Daley, POGO’s Director of Investigations. Mrs. Daley was a committed champion of openness and a former member of OpenTheGovernment.org’s Steering Committee. Information about how to donate in her memory and on a celebration of Beth’s life can be found here.

 

CREW Releases New Report on Missing White House Emails

On August 30, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) released a report providing a wealth of details regarding the Bush White House’s failure to prevent millions of emails from vanishing forever, The Untold Story of the Bush White House Emails. The report is based on a review of Bush-era documents provided to CREW and the National Security Archive as part of their multi-year lawsuit over the missing emails.

 

UCS Scientific Integrity Editorial Cartoon Contest Open for Votes

You have until Monday, September 6 to vote in the Union of Concerned Scientists’ (UCS) Scientific Integrity Editorial Cartoon Contest. UCS asked 12 artists to draw humorous attention to the issue of political interference in science. View all of the cartoons, and vote for your favorite here.

 

I. Annual Secrecy Report Card Coming Soon

Be on the lookout for OpenTheGovernment.org’s 2010 Secrecy Report Card, an annual report on secrecy indicators across the federal government during the previous fiscal year. This year’s report covers the last three months of the G.W. Bush administration and the first nine months of the Obama administration. It should not be read, therefore, as a full reporting on trends in the new administration. However, the report does highlight trends in the indicators that suggest whether the federal government is moving towards more openness and accountability. The report will be released on September 7th.

 

II. National Archives and Records Administration Records Management Update

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) staff recently met with OpenTheGovernment.org and representatives from several other coalition partners to update the openness community on NARA’s efforts to monitor and improve electronic records management practices government-wide. NARA kicked off the effort last year by directing agencies to complete a records management self-assessment, and shared the results with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Congress, and the public. NARA has since updated and refined the assessment and is currently collecting responses for a 2010 report that will be released by September 30. Additionally, NARA will release the results of two records management inspections, one of the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the other of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, in 2011; at least one other inspection will be launched in 2011.

 

III. New Resources and Information Available on OGIS Website

Be sure to check out some of new information and resources that have been added to Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) website since last Fall’s launch. Among the useful items are case logs chronicling current and closed disputes between federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requesters and federal agencies OGIS helps mediate, including monthly snapshots that give viewers a graphic view of OGIS’ work. We are particularly pleased to note that the Director of OGIS, Miriam Nisbet, has recently begun to post her bi-weekly calendar, one of the items on the open government community’s "openness floor," a set of minimum requirements that executive branch agencies must meet in order to be considered "open."

 

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