Policy and News Updates for February 12, 2008


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

I. OpenTheGovernment.org Opposes Bush Budget Proposal to Repeal Part of OPEN Government Act and Grant DOJ Ombudsman Role
II. More Panelists Confirmed for OpenTheGovernment.org Sunshine Week Event: Edwards, Beeson Join Podesta
III. Informational Update

News from Coalition Partners & Others

 

I. OpenTheGovernment.org Opposes Bush Budget Proposal to Repeal Part of OPEN Government Act and Grant DOJ Ombudsman Role

Last week, OpenTheGovernment.org and 42 other groups wrote to congressional appropriators to urge them to reject President Bush’s proposal to repeal language in President Bush’s proposed budget that would repeal crucial aspects of the Openness Promotes Effectiveness in our National Government Act (OPEN Government Act) by shifting funding for the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to the Department of Justice. Although Bush signed the OPEN Government Act after it passed both Houses of Congress with wide bipartisan support, his budget threatens to vitiate both the spirit and letter of the law unless Congress moves to protect the position and fund it where the ombudsman can be truly independent, as intended and established by the recently-enacted law.

 

II. More Panelists Confirmed for OpenTheGovernment.org Sunshine Week Event: Edwards, Beeson Join Podesta

Mickey Edwards, Director of the Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership, and Ann Beeson, Director of U.S. Programs at the Open Society Institute, will join John Podesta on the first panel of OpenTheGovernment.org’s Sunshine Week 2008 event on March 19 at the National Press Club, titled "The Secret Executive — What Can Congress and the Public Do?" OpenTheGovernment.org Director Patrice McDermott will moderate. The second panel, "Citizen Self-Help: Finding the Information You Need," will examine web sites that enable citizens to collect government information and apply it in their own lives. Both panels will feature audience questions, from both in-person and online participants.

For further updates, please visit our Sunshine Week 2008 Webcast page.

 

III. Informational Update

OpenTheGovernment.org is proud to announce a new webpage with civic information about this year’s elections, the Election Resource Center. We’re also accepting recommendations for other electoral/technology-related websites, though there are legal electioneering limits on what we can link to.

 

News from Coalition Partners & Others

 

Welcome to New Coalition Partner: Citizens for Sunshine

Please welcome Citizens for Sunshine, a new group and coalition partner from Ohio, to OpenTheGovernment.org. Citizens for Sunshine focuses on public records, and is looking forward to determining how government agencies and entities will interpret and respond to Ohio’s new public records law.

 

 

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