Former Obama aide Podesta regrets not disclosing UFO files

It looks like we won’t be seeing the real-life Mulder and Scully anytime soon, as least according to recently departed White House adviser John Podesta.

“Finally, my biggest failure of 2014: Once again not securing the #disclosure of the UFO files. #thetruthisstilloutthere,”he tweeted on Friday, his last day in the White House.

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President Barack Obama signs presidential records reform

President Barack Obama signed a bill Wednesday that has the potential to curtail prolonged delays in the release of historical White House records.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest announced Wednesday afternoon that the "Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014" was among a set of bills Obama approved just prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.

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White House crowdsources open-government playbook

The Obama administration is "walking the walk" on government transparency by asking the public to help write a guide for agencies on ways to engage the public.

"This resource reflects the commitment of the government and civic partners to measurably improve participation programs, and is designed using the same inclusive principles that it champions," wrote Corinna Zarek, White House senior adviser for open government, and Justin Herman, SocialGov lead for the General Services Administration, in a blog post announcing the Public Participation Playbook.

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In ‘Lost’ Trove Of IRS Emails, 2,500 May Link White House To Confidential Taxpayer Data

The recent news that the lost or destroyed Lois Lerner emails were actually not lost or destroyed surprised some people. That they will now be sorted, cataloged and released provokes mixed reactions. It has some Republicans upset that more wasn’t done and more transparently. It has some Democrats upset that more money is being spent on what some see as a witch hunt that reveals not even a smidgen of corruption. Despite the 18 months of dissembling about who did what and when, the latter reaction may be premature.

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Transparency Groups Seek White House Position on FOIA Reforms

Fifty transparency organizations and watchdog groups are pressing the White House to state its position on a number of core reforms they say are needed to fix the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

In a letter released last week, the 50 groups requested the White House's opinion on legislative efforts included in the FOIA Improvements Act of 2014, which is currently awaiting a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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Picking up the open-gov torch

In September, the White House announced a series of new initiatives as part of its second Open Government National Action Plan. Among them was a commitment to developing and implementing a governmentwide open-source software policy by the end of 2015.

But two of the leaders of that initiative — Todd Park and Steven VanRoekel — left the White House toward the end of the summer, raising questions about whether the program will stay on track.

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