Benchmarks for Measuring Success for Legislative Data Transparency

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These remarks were delivered by Sunlight’s Policy Counsel, Daniel Schuman, at the House Legislative Data and Transparency Conference on February 2, 2012.

Thank you to Matt Lira and Steve Dwyer for the introduction, and to the House of Representatives for holding such an important and timely conference. This kind of event has been a long time in coming.

I must acknowledge the excellent panels that have been happening all day. And I would be remiss if I didn’t commend the Committee on House Administration for adopting “standards for the electronic posting of house and committee documents and data,” which are already transforming the House in a very positive way.

Because I’m limited to 10 minutes, let me briefly commend three documents to all of you which lay out a transparency vision in greater breath and detail than is possible here. They are the Open House Project Report, the Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Data, and the report from the Congressional Facebook Hackathon.

I’ve been asked to speak about benchmarks for measuring success in making legislative data available online. I feel like a kid in a candy store, but I will try to restrain myself. When I speak about the House, please construe my remarks as applying to the Senate and the legislative support agencies as well.

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