April, 2008

Ending Translucent Government

Key materials
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Summary

The federal government makes an overwhelming amount of data publicly available each year. Laws ranging from the Administrative Procedure Act to the Paperwork Reduction Act require these disclosures in the name of transparency and accountability. However, the data is often only nominally available to the public. First, much government data is not available online or even in electronic format. Second, the data that can be found online is often not available in an easily accessible or searchable format. If the government made information public online in standard open formats, the millions of Americans online could help ensure the transparency and accountability that is the reason for making information public in the first place.