Except for a handful of instances, an internal audit has found that most NASA first- and business-class travel was properly authorized and complied with federal government policy. Still, the inspector general said the agency can improve compliance with travel policy and the accuracy of travel reports submitted to the General Services Administration.
The Agriculture Department's inspector general's audit is a look back and lessons learned from the 80 reports and 401 recommendations it has made, as of Aug. 15, regarding such programs funded to stimulate the economy. It's a "compilation report identifying the crosscutting themes, lessons learned, and conclusions" from the previous reports it's issued.
The Environmental Protection Agency doesn't always provide clear information about its cost-benefit analyses underlying its regulatory decisions, the investigative arm of Congress said in a recent report.
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.
Why governments engage citizens in open government programs matters more than how they engage and poor engagement is worse than no engagement at all, says Tim Hughes, a researcher at Involve, a UK-based civil society organization. Hughes spoke March 20 during a webinar sponsored by the Open Government Partnership.
Seven of fifteen federal agencies reviewed received a failing grade for implementing the Freedom of Information Act in a Center for Effective Government report. No agency earned an "A" overall although some agencies earned top scores in one of the three areas examined, says the group.
Federal agencies must come up with a significant new project to include in updates to their open government plans due June 1. In a Feb. 24 memo (.pdf), Todd Park, the federal chief technology officer, called on agencies to "introduce bold, ambitious new open government initiatives," relating to either transparency, participation or collaboration.
The Navy accidentally leaked a memo (.pdf) to Scott MacFarlane, a reporter at an NBC news affiliate, which details how the office planned to evade his recent FOIA request for information on the September 2013 Navy Yard shooting. The Navy has since launched an internal investigation and is considering disciplinary action for employees in its Freedom of Information Act office, according to NBC 4 in Washington, D.C.
The Defense Department is now required to post all reports to Congress on a "publicly accessible Internet website," whether they're requested or not.
Freedom of Information Act processing at many agencies has been delayed because the majority of FOIA professionals were furloughed as non-excepted employees during the government's 16-day shutdown. Unfortunately, the FOIA statute does not address government shutdowns, writes Kristen Mitchell, a facilitator at the National Archives and Records Administration's office of government information services, in an Oct. 24 blog post.