Take a few minutes away from politics and read this fascinating article! One would think that Congress would want to have good solid scientific advice and not have to rely on think tanks or the Executive Branch agencies for an understanding of complex scientific issues. Well, in 1972 Congress passed and President Nixon signed a bill that set up the The Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) to do just that. Twenty years later, Congress withdrew all funding for the OTA and has never given it a penny since. (Okay. politics is involved…. Sorry.)
Why did this happen? What are the arguments for and against? What lessons can we learn about agencies just being denied funding? Read on!
Adam Keiper, Science and Congress, The New Atlantis, Number 7 (Fall 2004/Winter 2005), pp. 19-50.
And don’t forget to visit the collection of OTA documents at the UNT CyberCemetery!
PACER Class Action Advances By JUNE WILLIAMS Courthouse News Service (September 27, 2016).
A federal judge refused Monday to dismiss a class action accusing the U.S. government of systematically overcharging for access to court records through its system PACER, short for Public Access to Court Electronic Records.
Bryndon Fisher sued the United States for a putative class, claiming that “PACER overcharges users because of a faulty pricing formula,” U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Thomas Wheeler wrote in his order refusing the government’s motion to dismiss.
A story about Carl Malamud’s long fight to keep public information public. Details his current fight against a lawsuit that seeks to keep laws that cover building codes, plumbing regulations, and product safety rules for baby seats accessible only for a fee.
For the past 25 years or so, Carl Malamud’s lonely mission has been to seize on the internet’s potential for spreading information — public information that people have a right to see, hear, and read.
Today is the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service.
Our friend Gary Price has a nice collection of 10 Digital Resources to Help Celebrate 100th Birthday of the National Park Service over at infoDocket. Thanks Gary!
The Sunlight Foundation notes that when an agency like the Department of State publishes a draft of its Open Government plan, the public should not have to provide the agency with personal information in order to read the draft and provide feedback.
Read about what is going on here: State Department requests feedback on draft 2016 Open Government Plan
Get the Department of State plan here.