Sunshine Week 2013 will take place March 10th to 15th, throughout Washington, DC, and across the United States. On the morning of Friday, March 15th, OpenTheGovernment.org and the First Amendment Center will host a Sunshine Week celebration of National Freedom of Information Day at the Newseum in Washington, DC.
This year, after taking a quick look at from where we’ve come, we’ll focus on moving forward. In a departure from the traditional panel format, the morning will feature four smaller discussions. Each discussion will include a speaker outlining how the Obama Administration could make real progress on an open government issue in the short-and medium-term, and a respondent from the government or a former government employee. The featured topics will be FOIA and proactive disclosure, spending transparency, declassification, and ethics disclosure. The afternoon will feature clips from the upcoming documentary, “War on Whisteblowers,” and a discussion with featured journalists and whistleblowers.
Download the agenda HERE.
Can’t wait until March? The event’s sponsors, the American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, have refreshed the Sunshine Week website, www.sunshineweek.org with an up-to-date calendar of events and a “Sunshine Week Toolkit” that will soon include op-eds, cartoons, public-service ads, and logos to help participants and planners get ready for the event.
To register: e-mail or telephone Ashlie Hampton of the First Amendment Center at email@example.com or 202/292-6288. When registering, please provide your name, title, affiliation and contact information for agenda updates and other news.
Also see, for Monday, March 11:
National Archives Celebrates “Sunshine Week” with Special Programs on March 11
Original FOIA Law on Display March 8-17
Washington, DC. . . The National Archives and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Ombudsman celebrate Sunshine Week on Monday, March 11, with two back-to-back programs at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC:
· 1 PM – View the original FOIA Law in the East Rotunda Gallery and hear remarks by Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero and Office of Information Services (OGIS) Director Miriam Nisbet; and
· 1:45 PM – Watch a demonstration of FOIAonline in the Washington Conference Room. FOIAonline is the multi-agency FOIA portal launched last fall to streamline the FOIA process for both agencies and requesters.
Note: Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org for the March 11 programs.
The original Freedom of Information Act, Public Law 89-487, will be on public display from Friday, March 8, through Sunday, March 17. The display will be in the East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives Building which is located on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW. The museum is open from 10 AM to 5:30 PM through March 14, and 10 AM to 7 PM March 15 through Labor Day, daily. Admission is free.
One of the first countries to open access to government records, the United States passed the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on July 4, 1966. This law began a process to make government increasingly transparent. Today the public’s “right to know” is considered one of the fundamental rights of a democratic government.
OGIS, referred to as the FOIA ombudsman, was created within the National Archives when the OPEN Government Act of 2007 amended the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. § 552) (FOIA). OGIS began operations in September, 2009, and is charged with providing services to mediate disputes between FOIA requesters and Federal agencies; reviewing policies and procedures of administrative agencies under FOIA; reviewing agency compliance with FOIA; and recommending policy changes to the Congress and President to improve the administration of FOIA.