Public interest groups: Agencies must notify public before stripping online government data

February 15, 2017 8:37 PM

OpenTheGovernment.org and 68 other public interest groups published a letter demanding that the government issue advanced notice before removing information from government websites. The letter also reiterated the need to properly preserve and archive government websites before they are changed.

From the announcement: 

Today, a group of 69 public interest organizations dedicated to open and accountable government, free speech, civil rights, consumer protection, the environment, and other issues called on federal agencies to fulfill their legal requirement to provide the public with adequate notice before removing public information from government websites.

Amid reports that information has gone missing from the US Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Education websites, the groups urge the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to remind agencies that they are required to give adequate public notice when making significant changes to public information. The letter further calls on agencies to provide the public with appropriate justification in advance of any removal of significant information, as well as instructions on how to access the information once it has been removed from the agency website. 

Read the letter here.