Passing along from my friends at Sunlight….
Next week, Congress is going to vote on a budget that may decimate funding for some of the most important technology programs that help make Washington accountable.
Data.gov, USASpending.gov, the IT Dashboard and other federal data transparency and government accountability programs are on the chopping block, set to have their budget reduced from $34 million to $2 million. These programs make up only a tiny fraction of the federal budget and are designed to help the public see what the government is doing, where it’s spending money and help to hold the government accountable. In fact, Vivek Kundra, Chief Information Officer for the U.S., recently said the IT Dashboard helped the administration cut over $3 billion in IT spending.
You can help. Take action now by signing on to our letter to Congressional leaders, sending a letter to the editor, and spreading the word. While the legislation that created these websites and programs had broad bipartisan support and are crucial the future of government transparency, they’re not widely known, so we need your help to sound the alarm.
Take action now at http://sunlightfoundation.com/savethedata.
Websites like Data.gov and USASpending.gov have been used by journalists to see how much the government spends on contracts, such as in a report on BP’s contracts with the U.S. after last year’s Gulf Coast oil spill. Here at Sunlight, we used these sites to bring to light nearly $1.3 trillion in inaccurate spending data — a report that led to a congressional hearing just a few weeks ago.
If we don’t take action now, these websites will start going dark within a month.
Transparency is essential to a healthy democracy, and cutting these programs would be a huge step back. Help save the data and make sure that Congress doesn’t leave the American people in the dark.
- Group Protests Proposed Cuts in E-gov’t Transparency Efforts (pcworld.com)
- Open Government Threatened by Budget Cuts (strongerdemocracy.org)
- Will New Open Government Tools Be Victims of Budget Cuts? (pogoblog.typepad.com)