Data Coalition Celebrates New Open Data Law on Capitol Hill

On Wednesday, the Data Coalition hosted a Legislative Data Demo Day to show what’s possible when we make our laws and legislation more accessible.

Across all of our policy initiatives, the Data Coalition encourages federal and state governments to create or collect data in machine-readable structures using non-proprietary formats. This past Wednesday we explored how legal and regulatory information can be reformed in order to provide maximum value to both lawmakers, and the public.Continue Reading

Next Steps in Congressional Openness: News from the May Bulk Data Task Force Meeting

The 21 year-old legislative information website THOMAS will be retired on July 5 was the top news from last Wednesday’s congressional Bulk Access to Legislative Data public meeting. The fact that THOMAS was shutting down was not news, but the timing was.

While it didn’t generate a story in the press, two other developments are particularly important regarding how Congress engages the public. For the first time, the meeting was webcast and panelists—who came from offices and agencies throughout the legislative branch—responded to questions from people inside and outside the room. This will soon become regular practice; and video will shortly be available. Even more striking, Congress is responding to technical comments made on GitHub to the data it releases, creating an ongoing, real-time conversation about public access to legislative information with all the relevant stakeholders. This is a big deal. Continue Reading