Trump administration officials instructed employees at multiple agencies in recent days to cease communicating with the public through news releases, official social media accounts and correspondence, raising concerns that federal employees will be able to convey only information that supports the new president’s agenda.
The new limits on public communications appear to be targeting agencies that are charged with overseeing environmental and scientific policy, prompting criticism from officials within the agencies and from outside groups focused on climate change.
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President Obama's well-publicized national open data policy (pdf) makes it clear that government data is a valuable public resource for which the government should be making efforts to maximize access and use. This policy was based on lessons from previous government open data success stories, such as weather data and GPS, which form the basis for countless commercial services that we take for granted today and that deliver enormous value to society. (You can see an impressive list of companies reliant on open government data via GovLab's Open Data 500 project.)
Read More… from Open data for open lands: Recreation.gov should be a platform, not a silo.
The Department of the Interior's inspector general closed 457 investigations last year — and released public reports for only three.
The rest largely stayed hidden from public view, with even a redacted list of closed investigations accessible only through the Freedom of Information Act. Among them were cases exposing nepotism, contracting violations and allegations that BP America underpaid its gas royalties by millions of dollars (see related story).
Read More… from Interior’s Inspector General investigates a lot, shares little with public