Government Information

House passes OPEN Act to improve public access to government data

Orange neon sign saying "OPEN"

On Wednesday, November 15, the House of Representatives passed ALA-supported legislation to improve public access to government data. The Open, Public, Electronic, and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act was included as part of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (H.R. 4174), which the House passed by voice vote. Passage of the bill represents a victory for library advocates, who have ... Read More »

Open government data legislation advances in Congress

Congressional negotiators will be burning the midnight oils over the weekend to craft a final bill.

In recent years, there has been a significant movement to improve public access to government data. Republicans and Democrats alike increasingly recognize that unlocking data can unleash innovation, with major economic and social benefits for businesses, researchers, and the general public. Legislation in support of those goals has been passed in the Senate and is now on a fast track ... Read More »

Release of Kennedy records is one small step for transparency

The front of the national archives building

On Oct. 26, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) publicly released thousands of records regarding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. However, thousands of additional records were withheld from the public pending further review. The President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act required federal agencies to provide all records related to the assassination to NARA. The law ... Read More »

Congress continues work toward strengthening Title 44

The Congressional Committee on House Administration continues its look at Title 44 of the U.S. Code with another hearing that took place on October 11. The discussion built on the committee’s previous hearings, which examined the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and the Government Publishing Office (GPO). Among the witnesses was Robin Dale from the Institute of Museum & Library ... Read More »

Dear Congress, here’s how to ensure public access to government information

Logo for a Federal Depository Library

As previously reported, Congress’ Committee on House Administration is currently examining Title 44 of the U.S. Code. That’s the law that governs the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and the Government Publishing Office (GPO). On Sept. 15, ALA President Jim Neal sent the committee a letter highlighting the vital role of libraries and the FDLP in providing equitable and long-term ... Read More »