The American Society for News Editors and OpenTheGovernment.org have put together a list of questions on open government for federal candidates for office. We join them in calling on the moderators to fulfill their roles as watchdogs by asking a question at the presidential debates about the policies the candidates would “implement to guarantee and advance public access to government information and sources.”
We hope to hear the answer to these questions, as well as other issues that are important to the future of open government in the United States and our leadership on the issue around the world:
After the embarrassing launch of the Healthcare.gov in 2013, the Obama administration has made meaningful progress towards modernizing the capacity of the federal government to deliver digital services that are fast, efficient and apply the principles of user-centric design. We are thrilled to see the commitment 18F, a digital agency within the government, has made to working in the open, creating open source software by default. So much remains to be done, however, with approximately 75 percent of the federal government’s annual IT budget going to operations and maintenance of legacy systems.
From data held by the Department of Justice’s Foreign Agency Registration Act Unit on foreign lobbying in the U.S. to the Federal Communications Commission’s television station public files, data is stored in formats and ways that are not easy to use. The government can and should do better.
The Obama administration committed to 45 different reforms in the third National Action Plan for Open Government for the Open Government Partnership. How would your administration approach meeting these commitments and leading the world towards embracing transparency, accountability and democratic reforms?
The presidential debates present a clear opportunity to press the candidates for answers on these important questions. We look forward to hearing these answered by the candidates in future debates
The Sunlight Foundation is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that uses the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency, and provides new tools and resources for media and citizens, alike.