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Sunshine Week Events

March 14, 2011

Yesterday was the first day of Sunshine Week (March 13-19, 2011), an “initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information.”  Largely funded by grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the ASNE Foundation, Sunshine Week seeks to encourage civic organizations and private individuals to promote dialogue regarding government transparency and openness.  Several events are planned in conjunction with Sunshine Week including:

  • The Archive released its annual audit of government FOIA practices, entitled Glass Half Full: 2011 Knight Open Government Survey Finds Freedom of Information Change, But Many Federal Agencies Lag in Fulfilling President Obama’s Day One Openness Pledge. Find the complete report and additional media regarding the audit at the National Archive Website, here.  See coverage of the report in the Washington Post and Associated Press.
  • The 13th Annual Freedom of Information Conference will take place on March 16 at the Newseum in Washington, DC.
  • The Associated Press is monitoring FOI developments at the local level, assessing the progress made on transparency issues in each of the 50 statehouses.  A report by Beth Fouhy on March 12, summarized their mixed findings.  Follow up stories will continue in the coming days.  Monitor AP coverage here.
  • On Tuesday March 15, the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing entitled “The Freedom of Information Act: Ensuring Transparency and Accountability in the Digital Age.”  For information regarding the hearing and a complete witness list see the committee’s website.
  • The Justice Department has inaugurated FOIA.gov, a website dedicated to educating the public about the FOIA process and providing reports and data regarding FOIA compliance.  The government also launched Law.Data.gov, which provides “access to legal data from across the Executive Branch in the form of administrative decisions, case filings, legal interpretations and agency directives.”

Additional information regarding Sunshine Week is available at their website.

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