Today in OpenGov: Politics holding back tech, POIA reintroduced, White House opengov guidance


GRIDLOCKED: The World Economic Forum’s latest Global Information Technology Report for 2016 ranks the U.S. fifth behind Singapore, Finland, Sweden and Norway in a global index of countries. What’s holding the U.S. back? WEF pointed to “an unpredictable and unreliable political environment and low government commitment.” [READ MORE]

POIA: On Thursday, Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., reintroduced the Public Online Information Act (POIA) as H.R. 5839. Sunlight has been a supporter of POIA since 2010, when Israel, along with Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., first introduced the transparency legislation. If enacted, the bill would enshrine into law the simple, transformative principle that in the 21st century, public means online. [READ MORE]

CC @OPENGOV: The guidance the White House issued yesterday for federal agencies to update their open government plans is overdue but welcome. It asks the right questions. Yet to be determined: what agencies will answer by the Sept. 16 deadline. Corinna Zarek, the deputy United States chief technology officer for open government, has asked the public for open government success stories in the White House blog post introducing the guidance. She requested that you send them to the Open Government discussion group, email or tweet them and tag @OpenGov. Zarek also encouraged the public to share ideas that agencies should include in their Open Government Plans directly with those agencies or to share them with the White House using those channels. We hope you will do so! [READ MORE]


  • Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., introduced H.R. 5760, which would “require all bills, resolutions, and other documents of Congress to be created, transmitted, and published in searchable electronic formats.”
  • Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., and Rep. Luke Messer, D-Ind., introduced the Establishing Digital Interactive Transparency Act this week as well, which would “direct the Librarian of Congress to ensure that each version of a bill or resolution which is made available for viewing on the website is presented in a manner which permits the viewer to follow and track online, within the same document, any changes made from previous versions of the bill or resolution.” That could enable “automatic redlining.” [Data Coalition]
  • We think both of these bills above are good ideas!
  • ReadWrite interviewed Denise Turner Roth, the GSA Administrator, and Hillary Hartley, the deputy executive director of 18F, about what they do. We hope the site updates “” to and links it up. [ReadWrite]

State and Local

  • Here’s some ideas for how Pokémon Go could be harnessed for better civic life. [GCN]
  • MuckRock is building an open guide to every state’s public records law. They’re asking for help tracking down — and fighting — every public records exemption across the United States. Please do! [MuckRock]


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