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Category: Government Information

ALA invites nominations for 2018 James Madison Award

The American Library Association’s (ALA) Washington Office invites nominations for its James Madison Award. The award recognizes an individual or group who has championed, protected, or promoted public access to government information and the public’s right to know at the national level.  The award is named in honor of President…

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Keeping public information public: an introduction to federal records laws

This is the first post in a three-part series. Part two describes how federal records laws apply to information on government websites.  The federal government generates an almost unimaginable quantity of information, such as medical research, veterans’ service records, regulations and policy documents, and safety inspection records, to name just…

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House passes OPEN Act to improve public access to government data

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…

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Open government data legislation advances in Congress

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…

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Release of Kennedy records is one small step for transparency

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…

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