Opinion: Obama administration agrees with Sunlight: Agencies should disclose what data they keep private

Last week, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) posted updated guidance to the Project Open Data Github for agencies as they continue to compile indexes of their data holdings. Agencies are now instructed to “Include all ‘non-public’ data assets in their PDL [Public Data Listing], in addition to the ‘public’ and ‘restricted’ data assets that have long been required.” It also tells agencies to fully explain the reasons for "non-public" designations and redactions in the metadata.

This change turns the one-time results of a Sunlight FOIA request into effective policy moving forward, ensuring that the public will continue to have the fullest possible knowledge of agency data holdings. We have been urging OMB to embrace this method since before our FOIA was fulfilled — and we're thrilled to see it actually happening.

The guidance builds on last month’s historic release of comprehensive data indexes (referred to as Enterprise Data Inventories or EDIs) that was sparked by a Sunlight Foundation FOIA request. Continue>>>