Recent Press Releases
June 18, 2013 —
WASHINGTON, DC — The Sunlight Foundation is the recipient of a new $4 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The grant will further Sunlight’s ongoing work in bringing technology-driven transparency and accountability to government and will allow the Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan, nonprofit to serve as a cornerstone in the Knight Foundation’s open government grant making.
Over the next three years, Sunlight will use the Knight Foundation support to make more government data accessible, build tools to bring that data to the public and share with the growing open government community lessons learned from our work. These funds are the second-largest foundation grant received by Sunlight since its founding in 2006.
May 9, 2013 —
The Sunlight Foundation issued the following statement regarding the White House’s Executive Order and the new Open Data Policy for federal agencies.
May 6, 2013 —
WASHINGTON, DC — The Sunlight Foundation is expanding its free data services with a new website -- http://sunlightfoundation.com/api/ -- to access our open government APIs. We offer APIs (a.k.a. application programming interfaces) for a number of our projects and tools and support a community of developers who create their own projects using this data.
April 23, 2013 —
WASHINGTON, DC — The Sunlight Foundation and Media Standards Trust today introduce a new tool called Churnalism US -- http://churnalism.sunlightfoundation.com/ -- to help detect possible plagiarism in news and research articles online. In a day and age when a seemingly infinite amount of information can be accessed with just a click of a mouse, Churnalism lets you know if it’s a product of real journalism or copied from another story posted elsewhere.
March 11, 2013 —
How well does your state legislature give its citizens access to its information? This Sunshine Week, as we reflect on the public’s right to know and the importance of open government, this should be a central question.
March 11, 2013 —
Updated 3/13/13 to reflect new grades for NY and RI.
WASHINGTON, DC — A new analysis from the Sunlight Foundation presents a “Transparency Report Card” on how well state legislative information is made available to the public. Using data collected from our Open States project, Sunlight ranks the good, the bad and the ugly of state websites.
Evaluated across six criteria, the Sunlight Foundation developed a scorecard and letter grades for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Transparency Report Card judges legislative websites in relation to how government information is publicly available. Factors include: completeness, timeliness, ease of electronic access, machine readability, use of commonly owned standards and permanence.
February 14, 2013 —
WASHINGTON, DC — The Sunlight Foundation today launches OpenStates.org — a website anyone can use to discover more about lawmaking in their state. Open States is a comprehensive database of legislative information for all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The website makes it easy to find state lawmakers, review their votes, search legislation and track bill progress, as well as compare legislation from state to state.
Developers at Sunlight Labs, along with dozens of civic hacker volunteers, collected and scraped legislative data from state websites across the country and made it available online in a unified, open source and reliable format. Check out the story of Open States (3-minute video).
February 4, 2013 —
WASHINGTON, DC — The Sunlight Foundation today released its latest ‘Clearspending’ analysis and found more than $1.55 trillion in misreported federal spending in 2011. Visit the Clearspending website to view a scorecard on how each government agency reports its grant spending to the public online.
The government’s USAspending.gov allows the public to search how it spends money. However, as Clearspending’s findings show, what the federal government posts online about their grants doesn’t always match up with available bookkeeping records (ie. a federal audit). In conducting the Clearspending analysis, Sunlight measured the grant spending on USASpending.gov across three metrics: consistency, completeness, and timeliness. The $1.55 trillion in misreported funds in 2011 account for 94.5 percent of the total grant spending data reported that year. It was an increase from 2010 but lower than that in 2009.
January 31, 2013 —
WASHINGTON, DC — The Sunlight Foundation launches a new influence-tracking website today that uncovers trends in the federal rulemaking process. Docket Wrench is a searchable database and visualization tool that explores the federal rulemaking system, monitoring comments from 10,000 organizations across 300 federal agencies.
The rulemaking process starts after Congress passes a bill and the president signs it into law. Docket Wrench is a useful, online tool to show how federal agencies are fine-tuning public policy — and the groups trying to influence the regulatory process. While these proposed rules and public comments are posted on Regulations.gov, Docket Wrench goes a step further and allows anyone to see who is commenting and if there are any similarities among the proposals.
January 16, 2013 —
WASHINGTON, DC — The Sunlight Foundation today announces a $2.1 million grant from Google.org. The funding will allow Sunlight to expand our work on using cutting-edge technology and ideas to make government more transparent and accountable, particularly at the local level.
The grant kicks off a two-year project for Sunlight to address how local government—from city councils to school boards—can invest in technology-driven transparency and bring greater efficiency to how they work. By bringing our policy and data expertise to the municipal level, we can document and demonstrate how transparency serves as a powerful force in people’s lives through civic engagement, information accessibility and local innovation.