(from the Open House Project blog)
As the research of the Harvard Transparency Policy Project has made abundantly clear, applying the principles of openness and transparency to complex systems demands a careful approach to epistemic nuances; questions like what should be knowable to whom need to be answered before disclosure requirements are implemented, and need to be built into a disclosure regime's initial design. (more)Continue reading
I've been on a mission, since November 14th, to find a digital copy of S.Pub 102-20, a reference document from 1990 giving a very comprehensive analysis of all public congressional information, from an archival perspective. I've finally managed to digitize a copy (after some quality time at the scanner). It is a large file. (Click here to download a PDF.)
The preface describes it as a "study of the archival sources that document the operations of Congress." The "archival sources" described in this document comprise the entire body of public congressional information, the substance of both administrative minutiae, and legislative substance. Just as we are interested in the capacity of the public to be conscious of its legislature, we should be interested in the legislature's capacity to take stock of itself, to engage in constructive introspection. (more)
I'm glad to have just found the archive of old Web sites from members of Congress, maintained by the Center for Legislative Archives under the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). (more after the jump.)Continue reading
(Cross-posted from the Open House Project blog.)
The Senate Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill (reported out of committee on June 21st) provides a revealing look into the priorities that Congress sets in funding its own operations. The House and Senate pass separate appropriations bills; this page on THOMAS organizes the appropriations bills for each fiscal year in a remarkably useful manner.
While the majority side of the Senate Appropriations committee did include a brief review of their bill (as did their House counterpart), I’d like to give my impressions of the appropriations from the perspective of an advocate for public access and transparency, using the Senate report as a guide. (The Republican websites don’t feature any press releases, which isn’t surprising, given the minority’s smaller staff and budget, comparative lack of clout in controlling committee functioning, and their opportunity to add dissenting views to the report, as I discovered in reading the House report.)Continue reading