Federal agencies still fall short on transparency, watchdog says

News from several areas: a new audit on open government, an interview with former deputy CTO Beth Noveck, crowdsourcing on environmental research, and a National Library of Medicine video contest.

Even federal agencies that get high scores for open government efforts aren't regularly posting their visitor logs, calendars, lobbyist visits, congressional testimony, inspector general reports and other information, according to a new audit from OpentheGovernment.org.

The transparency advocacy group looked at 10 agencies that it rated highest for their open government activities overall, including the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, Social Security Administration, NASA, and the Agriculture, Education, Health and Human Services, Justice and Transportation departments.

The March 14 audit found that agency disclosures were inconsistent.

“The results of this limited audit show the Administration has its work cut out for it to go meet this goal,” the group said. “Even at the agencies perceived to be among the leaders in transparency, the public has no consistent access to the type of information it needs to understand how and why public policy decisions are formed, and hold decision makers accountable for their actions.”

In other Gov 2.0 news:

  • Former White House Deputy CTO Beth Noveck gives a four-part interview to Asia Pacific FutureGov to talk about her experiences as director of White House open government initiatives from March 2009 to January 2011. She is a professor at New York Law School.
  • The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is seeking input from the public as well as researchers for its new strategic plan. Ideas can be submitted on the Web through this link.
  • Entries are due on March 31 for the National Library of Medicine’s online video contest. In a short video, show how the national library has changed your life.


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