Budget Cuts Threatening Government Transparency
by Texas Nate, Tue May 17, 2011 at 09:59:29 AM EDT
Alternet has some depressing news from the open government front:
Data.gov, Apps.gov, USAspending.gov, and Paymentaccuracy.gov are sites that help the government operate more effectively and efficiently, saving taxpayer money and helping public oversight. They increase citizen knowledge of and involvement in the democratic process. Data.gov launched a few years ago, then a few months later both New York and San Francisco introduced their own sites for detailed, city-specific data, and Data.gov.uk launched not too long after. A movement for open government was clearly been building momentum, and the popularity of data itself in other sectors continues to rise.
However, in the next few months, these open data sites are slated to be shut down due to budget cuts under consideration – the current annual budget of $37 million will be reduced to $2 million.
The Sunlight Foundation states in response:
"An open and accountable government is a prerequisite for democracy. Keeping these programs alive would cost a mere pittance when compared to the value of bringing the federal government into the sunlight. As you consider the budget for the remainder of this year, please sustain funding for these vital transparency programs."
They've got a petition we can sign to show our support for continued funding of transparent, accountable government.