FOIA portal, VistA bid, Army cyber and SANS templates

The federal web development team 18F is building a one-stop portal for requests for government documents under the Freedom of Information Act. The move advances a key goal of the Obama administration's open government action plan — the creation of a consolidated online FOIA service.


The government shutdown is terrible for transparency

From National Journal: Thursday morning’s New York Times starts with a blockbuster story on Obamacare:

“A sweeping national effort to extend health coverage to millions of Americans will leave out two-thirds of the poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of the low-wage workers who do not have insurance, they very kinds of people that the program was intended to help, according to an analysis of census data by The New York Times.”


As shutdown commences, federal open government databases go dark or dormant

From As hundreds of thousands of federal workers were sent home amid the first federal government shutdown since the 1990s, so too did many of the databases that provide government transparency and allow researchers to understand the social and economic fabric of the United States.

Because of a lack of staffing or because they were deemed non-essential services, much of the statistical information kept by the federal government will remain dormant as long as the shut down continues, if it hasn’t disappeared entirely.


NFOIC’s FOI Friday for March 30, 2012

A few open government and FOIA news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier.

Text messages enter public-records debate

Those supposedly private messages that public officials dash off on their government cellphones to friends and colleagues aren't necessarily private after all.