Article: Freedom of Information Act—How Open is Public Access to Government Data?

Open Governance, Standards

Freedom of Information Act—How Open is Public Access to Government Data?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) establishes a legal right for individuals and organizations to request access to government information. In FY 2019, federal agencies reported that they processed nearly 878,000 FOIA requests for government information, an increase of 32% since FY 2012.

In honor of Sunshine Week—an annual observation that promotes open government—today’s WatchBlog post looks at our recent reports on agencies’ implementation of laws that seek to improve the public’s access to government information.

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Article: What is open government?

Open Governance, Politics, Standards

What is open government?

In general terms, an open government is one with high levels of transparency and mechanisms for public scrutiny and oversight in place, with an emphasis on government accountability.

Transparency is considered the traditional hallmark of an open government, meaning that the public should have access to government-held information and be informed of government proceedings. In recent years, however, the definition of open government has expanded to include expectations for increased citizen participation & collaboration in government proceedings through the use of modern, open technologies.

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