Help Choose the “Most Wanted Federal Documents”

What federal government documents would you most like to see released? Now is the chance for you to vote in a new survey entitled, Show Us The Data—The Most Wanted Federal Documents. The deadline to submit documents and vote on-line ends March 9, 2009.

This week, OpenTheGovernment.Org and the Center for Democracy & Technology launched a project aimed at identifying vital government information and encouraging the federal government to put it within easy reach of the public. This project and survey will lead to a report, recommending documents and data that the federal government should make easier to find and use.

The project’s launch follows up on a directive from President Obama to federal agencies to proactively make information available to the public. The goal is to identify the documents and databases the public most wants to be made publicly available in usable formats. The items can be information known or thought to be in the federal government’s possession, or information that the federal government should be collecting or generating.

“We think this survey gives the public a chance to talk directly to the new Administration and Congress and tell them, specifically, what types of information they want access to, how they want it and when,” said Patrice McDermott, director of OpenTheGovernment.org. The National Coalition for History is a member of OpenTheGovernment.org.

Citizens and the public access community are asked to help identify:

  • information created and/or collected by the federal government that should be accessible to the public at no fee, but currently is not;
  • information created and/or collected by the federal government that is accessible to the public but is not available in a no-fee electronic form that is easy to find, search, or use;
  • useful public information that is not collected and/or created by the government, but that should be and disseminated in a no-fee electronic form that is easy to find, search, or use.
  • information and unclassified documents or data that are produced using taxpayer funds, but are not available to the public.

This work will update and expand previous reports published by OMB Watch, the Center for Democracy & Technology, and OpenTheGovernment.org. To see those reports click here.

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