Policy and News Updates for May 3, 2006

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Policy Updates for May 3, 2006

[new] Senators propose open access to research
A new bill introduced by Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT) would increase taxpayers’ access to federally funded research. The Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006 would require most recipients of federal grants to make their findings available for public access on the internet within six months of publication.
Status: The bill was introduced on May 2.
Sources: The Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006(pdf); Alliance for Taxpayer Access resource page; Bill Seeks Access to Tax-Funded Research [Washington Post]

[updated] Reclassification of documents leads to investigation
The National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) finished its audit of NARA’s secret reclassification program late last month. The audit found that nearly one-third of reclassified records were wrongly removed from the shelves.
Status: ISOO released the audit on April 26, including recommendations for reform.
Sources: ISOO audit; National Archives Reclassification Revealed [OMB Watcher]

[updated] Secret spying heats up
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) introduced an amendment to the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Hurricane Katrina (H.R. 4939) that would prohibit the use of funds for the National Security Agency’s warrantless spying program unless Congress is kept informed of the program’s activities.
Status: Specter submitted his amendment, SA 3679, on April 27.
Sources: SA 3679 via Secrecy News; H.R. 4939; Key articles and statements [collected by CDT]


News from Coalition Partners and Others

[new] Spotlight on the Sunshine Foundation
The Sunlight Foundation "was founded in January 2006 with the goal of using the revolutionary power of the Internet and new information technology to enable citizens to learn more about what Congress and their elected representatives are doing, and thus help reduce corruption, ensure greater transparency and accountability by government, and foster public trust in the vital institutions of democracy." One of their projects is Congresspedia, the "citizen’s encyclopedia on Congress" that anyone can edit.