News

February 17th, 2017

GovTech: Debate Erupts Over Access to Laws in the Digital Space

“It seems to me very clear that you cannot have secret law,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) said. “If you’re going to require people to adhere to a standard, that has to be in public domain. I’m sympathetic — I understand that there’s a business model set up — but you can’t allow the business model to trump the rule of law.”


February 15th, 2017

FedScoop: The Internet Archive Offers to Host PACER for Free

The executive director of the OpenGov Foundation, Seamus Kraft, told FedScoop that the proposal of this public-private partnership between Internet Archive and the courts is a “fascinating potential model not just for PACER” but for across government. The Internet Archive, he said, has “unmatched expertise,” delivering vast quantities of information fast and accessibly.

“The vital public information in PACER is the property of the American people,” Kraft said in a statement. “Public information, from laws to court records, should never be locked away behind paywalls, never be stashed behind arbitrary barriers and never be covered in artificial restrictions. Forcing Americans to pay hard-earned money to access public court records is no better than forcing them to pay a poll tax.”


February 14th, 2017

Statement on Internet Archive Offer to Deliver Free and Perpetual Public Access to PACER

STATEMENT FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR February 14, 2017 CONTACT: Mary Kate Mezzetti, marykate@opengovfoundation.org | +1-508-776-2789 WASHINGTON, DC (February 14, 2017) — The OpenGov Foundation today released the following statement from Executive Director Seamus Kraft on the Internet Archive’s offer to “archive and host— for free, forever and without restriction on access to the public— all records contained … Continue reading Statement on Internet Archive Offer to Deliver Free and Perpetual Public Access to PACER


February 13th, 2017

Mic.com: What is Congress doing today? Here are 5 ways to track what your lawmakers are up to.

“Need help keeping up with Congress? The Madison Project: Housed by the OpenGov Foundation, the Madison Project is a “government policy co-creation platform” that seeks to embolden citizen participation in official government documents from Congress.”


February 9th, 2017

Statement on U.S. District Court Decision Allowing Private Copyright Holders to Continue Restricting Public Access to the Public Law

STATEMENT FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR February 9th, 2017 CONTACT Mary Kate Mezzetti marykate@opengovfoundation.org | +1 (508) 776-2789 WASHINGTON, DC (February 9th, 2017) — The OpenGov Foundation today released the following statement from Executive Director Seamus Kraft on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruling that allows private standards organizations to continue restricting public access … Continue reading Statement on U.S. District Court Decision Allowing Private Copyright Holders to Continue Restricting Public Access to the Public Law


January 29th, 2017

Wired: Apps Make Pestering Congress So Easy That Politicians Can’t Keep Up

The OpenGov Foundation has proposed a “Congressional Digital Service” not unlike the White House’s United States Digital Service (USDS), which is already hard at work modernizing government agency websites and technology.

Although Kraft is quick to point out that the current situation is no one’s fault in particular, he says House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could take strides towards solving the problem by spending a relatively small amount. But improving the way the public and Congress interact has never really become enough of a high-profile issue for congressional leaders to risk the political capital needed to make changes.

So what can you do? Should you call your representatives, tell them to give their staffers a raise, and make upgrading their technology a priority? Email a form letter to your senator? The OpenGov Foundation’s solution is a more blunt: If your representative doesn’t support upgrading Congress’s technological infrastructure, you should just vote for another candidate.


January 23rd, 2017

Statement on Appointment of Matt Cutts as Acting Administrator of the U.S. Digital Service

CONTACT: Mary Kate Mezzetti, marykate@opengovfoundation.org | +1-508-776-2789 WASHINGTON, DC (January 23, 2017) — The OpenGov Foundation today released the following statement from Executive Director Seamus Kraft on the news that Matt Cutts has been appointed to serve as Acting Administrator of the U.S. Digital Service (USDS) in the Trump Administration.  Cutts had been serving as director of … Continue reading Statement on Appointment of Matt Cutts as Acting Administrator of the U.S. Digital Service


January 23rd, 2017

Center for Investigative Journalism: How Private Contractors Are Taking Over Data in the Public Domain

The result of this effort to become more transparent often can be less transparency because governments give up control of the information to private companies.

“That is the perverse result of the push for open government and more digital information that is more accessible,” said Seamus Kraft, Executive Director of The OpenGov Foundation. But critics should offer solutions, not just protest, he said. “It is unfair to pound your fist when you don’t have an easy, cost-effective means of delivery that leads to greater openness.”


January 11th, 2017

CivSource: Buffalo Focuses on Transparency

“The city is utilizing an internet platform provided by The OpenGov Foundation’s Madison Project to host the public comment period. Madison is a government policy co-creation platform that opens up laws and legislation previously off-limits to individuals and the Internet community. Buffalo plans to release an RFP in the future that will call for bids from open data platform providers for a more permanent solution.”


December 8th, 2016

HAPPENING THIS WEEK: Open Government Partnership (OGP) Annual Summit Hosted in Paris, France

  Executive Director Seamus Kraft & Head of Product Aaron Ogle to Participate in Panel Discussion, Collaboration on Madison PARIS, FRANCE (December 8th, 2016)– Commencing on December 7th, Open Government leaders from 70 countries will gather in Paris, France to demonstrate and discuss their experiences over the past year as part of the Open Government … Continue reading HAPPENING THIS WEEK: Open Government Partnership (OGP) Annual Summit Hosted in Paris, France


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