"Show Us The Data"
One test of the new Obama administration's good faith on its claims of increased transparency is ... um ... performance.
"Show Us The Data" That's the title of a new online project being organized by two longstanding open-government groups, OpenTheGovernment.org and the Center for Democracy and Technology, with help from the Sunlight Foundation.
Their Web site allows people and groups to vote for the government information they would most like disclosed.
The WatchDog applauds this effort, and while one-person-one-vote is a fine democratic principle (actually, they allow 3), the WatchDog also believes there can hardly be too much democracy. And so we offer our own, longer list (and it probably will keep growing). There is a lot of secrecy to roll back after the last decade.
- The National Inventory of Dams (Corps of Engineers).
- National Animal Identification System's National Premises Information Repository (aka the "feedlot phone book" — USDA).
- Meat recall information, Class II (USDA): "USDA May Limit Info On Meat Recalls" and Consumers Union Praises USDA's Decision To Inform Consumers About Stores That Sold Recalled Meat.
- Cheney Visitor Logs (White House): We want to know who met with the Energy Task Force.
- Hazardous Chemical Emergency Response Plans (local agencies).
- Inundation maps (Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation): We want to know whether a dam collapse will kill us and our children.
- Pesticide and fertilizer use data (USDA).
- National Response Center spill data, in real time (US Coast Guard).
- Sewage Overflows (local agencies, proposed federal requirement).