The federal government–Executive Branch, Congress and the Judiciary–keeps all kinds of documents and data, but not all of it is easily accessible to the public, or accessible at all. Congress doesn’t post disclosures filed by legal defense funds online. The only way to find out who’s donating up to $5,000 a pop to pay for lawyers for Randy “Duke” Cunningham is to wander the subterranean caverns of Capitol Hill and drop in on the Legislative Resource Center to pick up the documents. The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve have taken bold actions to bail out the financial system, with little to no public accounting. Federal judges are supposed to recuse themselves from cases in which they might have a personal financial conflict of interest, yet they don’t post their personal financial disclosures online.
If you’ve ever wanted to easy access to information on these or other bits of government data, Show us the Data is the site for you. You can suggest documents and data that should be public, and you can vote (up to three times) for documents others have suggested (or your own document as well, of course).
Our own Sunlight Labs built the site, but Show Us the Data is the brain child of the Center for Democracy & Technology and Open the Government. They’ll track all the responses, tally them up, and release the results during Sunshine Week, naming the NEW Ten Most Wanted Government Documents (to see prior lists, click here.
There’s more details here.