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.”

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

From NJ.com: 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.

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NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for September 20, 2013

From NFOIC:  A few state FOIA and local open government news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier in the week. While you're at it, be sure to check out State FOIA Friday Archives.

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NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for September 13, 2013

From NFOIC:  A few state FOIA and local open government news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier in the week. While you're at it, be sure to check out State FOIA Friday Archives.

Baltimore city open data

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Illinois policy group says 4 metro-east counties violate open government laws

From Belleville News-Democrat: Only two county governments in the metro-east passed an online review from an independent group seeking more openness in governance to prevent corruption.

[…]

The Illinois Policy Institute found 90 of the 102 counties in Illinois to be below the group’s expectations. And the group believes at least 27 counties violated state laws intended to ensure basic information was available to the public about the largest government agencies in most areas.

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No cheap details on contracts

From LivingstonDaily.com: […]

The bulk of state contracts flow through the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, which houses the state’s central procurement office and publishes all of its 1,200 contracts with outside vendors — some $32 billion worth — on its website. These agreements range from health insurance for state workers to office supplies.

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NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for September 6, 2013

From NFOIC:  A few state FOIA and local open government news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier in the week. While you're at it, be sure to check out State FOIA Friday Archives.

Sunshine Law proponents sue city of Groveland

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Public Open Data: The Good, the Bad, the Future

From Idea Lab:  New technology tools, combined with raised expectations among voters and stakeholders for government transparency, have sparked a movement toward “open government.” Championed by advocacy organizations and a few high-profile elected officials, the trend seeks to promote greater accountability and responsiveness for the systems of representative democracy. An area of particular opportunity — as well as potential concern — is the growing cache of large datasets of public information now available on the Internet.

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