Posts Tagged ‘Sunlight Foundation’

FOI DAILY DOSE: Judiciary redaction privileges may be extended, Gov IT investments get transparent

Congress considering extension of judiciary redaction abilities

The House Judiciary Committee approved H.R. 1059 Wednesday, which if approved by Congress and signed into law would indefinitely extend the ability of the Judicial Conference to redact information from reports on judicial financial disclosures.

Information that can be redacted includes any sensitive or personal data that would impact the people who filed the reports or their families. If Congress doesn’t extend the redaction privilege, it would expire on December 31.

The Administrative Office of the Courts submits a yearly report on how the Judicial Conference uses its redaction abilities, which helps the Senate and House Judiciary Committees evaluate if they have been improperly applied.

The Sunlight Foundation said in a blog post that these reports should be released online so the public is able to keep an eye on these redaction practices.

Gov to release more information on information technology investments

The Office of Management and Budget released new requirements this week that federal agencies will be expected to publish more detailed data online regarding their information technology investments.

This is supposed to give citizens a better idea of how government departments spend taxpayer dollars on IT services.

The new requirement is part of the IT reform plan that was released in December 2010 by federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra, according to an InformationWeek article.

– Morgan Watkins

Morgan Watkins is SPJ’s summer Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information intern and a University of Florida student. Reach her by email ( or connect with her on Twitter (@morganwatkins26).

FOI DAILY DOSE: State bills promote open gov, OpenGovernment Minn. website launched

State bills support transparency in Mass., La.

New pieces of legislation aim to further transparency at both the state and city government level.

In Massachusetts, four measures have been introduced that, if passed, will make the legislature accountable via the state open meetings law.

Two years ago, the legislature exempted itself from the open meetings and public records laws through the passage of an ethics reform bill.

In Louisiana, a measure has been introduced that would make all the governor’s records public.

The state currently exempts the governor from disclosing records that are under a “deliberative process,” according to a Sunlight Foundation blog post.

New York City is also jumping on the transparency bandwagon with the passage of a bill that will make executive orders from the mayor’s office available online.

Prior to the bill’s passage, executive orders were only available through FOI requests. The bill will require all memorandums of understanding, which are documents detailing agreements between various parties, and related documents to be made available online by April 1, 2012.

Minn. becomes sixth state to launch OpenGovernment website

OpenGovernment Minnesota, a transparency website that tracks state government happenings using official documents, social media alerts and other avenues, launched June 17.

It is the sixth state to launch an OpenGovernment website as part of the Sunlight Foundation’s joint project with the Participatory Politics Foundation.

The project aims to increase transparency at various levels of government throughout the U.S.

Minnesota joins California, Texas, Wisconsin, Maryland and Louisiana in having OpenGovernment websites.

– Morgan Watkins

Morgan Watkins is SPJ’s summer Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information intern and a University of Florida student. Reach her by email ( or connect with her on Twitter (@morganwatkins26).


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