In This Issue: [click on the link to go to the corresponding section]
On July 8, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) issued a press release marking the one-year anniversary of the date when new rules to protect federal scientists and science from political interference were supposed to have been in place. According to Jeff Ruch, Executive Director of PEER, "Federal agency science is still manipulated for political reasons largely because there are still no rules against it."
The Sunlight Foundation has cleaned up and made available online in a usable format House disbursements data that covers the first quarter of 2010. Unlike the static PDF’s posted by the Clerk of the House, the version posted by Sunlight gives users the ability to search, sort and aggregate the data in a meaningful manner.
Today OpenTheGovernment.org released updated results of an independent audit of agencies’ Open Government Plans. The audit is a part of the coalition’s project to evaluate open government. The evaluations were completed by volunteers, with experience working with the agencies and evaluating information policies, from nonprofit groups–including several coalition partners– academia, and other organizations that serve the public interest. The coalition views the plans and the audits as the beginning first steps of an ongoing process to make government more transparent, participatory, and collaborative, and applauds agencies for continuing to work to improve and strengthen the plans. Currently, the coalition and their evaluators are developing metrics to evaluate how agencies are implementing open government. Soon, the team will release the proposed metrics for public comment. Keep up with the latest news about the project, and about open government, by visiting the project’s blog.
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has waded further into the world of interactive web technologies (commonly called web 2.0) by launching Our Archives, a collaborative space for members of the public, researchers, and staff to share knowledge about National Archives records, resources and research. NARA has also announced that on July 26 they will launch Federal Register 2.0 web site (FR 2.0). The upgraded site will feature a user-friendly lay-out and makes it easy for users to submit comments directly into the official e-Rulemaking docket (Regulations.gov and view the history of rulemaking activity through a regulatory timeline. It will not be the authoritative Federal Register site; for that, the public will need to continue to go to the official electronic version.