A Freedom of Information Act request from the Sunlight Foundation has turned into federal policy on agency data holdings, the foundation reported.
For the first time since the Office of Management and Budget released the IT Dashboard in 2009, it is providing IT performance metrics used in internal discussions with agencies, according to a report.
Changes made over the past week show "this isn't a one and done thing" said a Treasury official speaking on background. "It's iterative. It's going to be a continuous process," he added.
In the early hours of March 31, the Treasury Department pushed out an update to USASpending.gov, one of the federal government's premier open data platforms, but instead of ushering in improvements or new capabilities, changes to the massive database tool stripped the site of critical functionality.
The Internal Revenue Service failed to comply with 11 percent of its Freedom of Information Act requests, a recently released Sept. 17 Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report says. The IRS relies on disclosure personnel to ensure that information requests received under the FOIA are handled timely and in accordance with laws and regulations.
In an effort to be more transparent and participatory governments are making more data publicly available in machine-readable formats and under open licenses, but such noble aims are not immune to privacy issues, says a paper published June 18 in Future Internet, a Switzerland-based scholarly journal.
The White House directed agencies to improve public access to scientific information as part of its third annual Open Government Plan. The Office of Science and Technology Policy released the third version of the transparency strategy (pdf) June 1. It builds on earlier versions released in 2010 and 2012.
Conformance with the newly-enacted Digital Accountability and Transparency Act will require heavy lifting on the part of government, said Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel. "As far as systems today and how we can get there, they don't necessarily map in the way that the act described," said VanRoekel.
The Energy Department doesn't always share its research results with the public and the DOE's auditor says the problem isn't new. "The failure to obtain and disseminate the results of department-funded research has been a long standing problem that the Office of Inspector General has previously brought to management's attention," The DOE inspector general says in a May 22 report.
The National Archives and Records Administration will create a committee to improve the way the government process Freedom of Information Act request, a May 5 Federal Register notice says. "NARA has determined that the creation of the FOIA Advisory Committee is in the public interest due to the expertise and valuable advice the Committee members will provide on issues related to improving the administration of FOIA," the notice says.