Grading the Government's Data Publication Practices


Start: 2012-11-05


Many of the entities discussed here are low-hanging fruit if Congress and the administration want to advance transparency and their transparency grades. Authoritative, complete, and well-published lists of House and Senate membership, committees, and subcommittees are easy to produce and maintain, and much of the work has already been done. The same is true of agencies and bureaus, at least on the executive branch side. Presidential leadership could produce an authoritative list of programs and projects within months. Establishing authoritative identifiers for these basic units of government is like creating a language, a simple but important language computers can use to assist Americans in their oversight of the federal government. The more difficult tasks -- amendments to legislation, for example, and discretely identified budget authorities -- will take some work. But such work can produce massive strides forward in accountable, efficient, responsive, and -- in the libertarian vision -- smaller government.


Name:Cato Institute