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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

Transparency Problems at the White House

McClatchyDC reports that The White House comment line is shut down, that new signatures aren’t being counted on petitions posted on the White House’s website, that Federal agencies are not allowed to respond to requests, that transcripts, executive orders and news releases aren’t being posted online, that social media accounts, including Flickr, Pinterest and Tumblr, are no longer in use, and that sending information to the Federal Register is delayed.

The report also says that the Trump administration revamp of the the White House website eliminated references to gay and lesbian issues and global warming and the Spanish-language website.

Ben Marchi, a Trump supporter and longtime Republican operative is quoted as saying, “It’s far too early to sound the alarm bells.”

When asked if he thinks these problems are intentional or a normal part of the overwhelming task of a transition, Alex Howard, deputy director of the Sunlight Foundation, said, “I don’t know because no one is telling us.”

The White House did not respond to a request from McClathyDC for comment.

Won’t Get Fooled Again: Day 2

Well, already there is an information gap — just two days into the new Administration. The first is constitutional, and stems from the stumbling exchange between Obama and Supreme Court Justice Roberts during the oath of office on Tuesday. Apparently the clumsy dialogue raised contstitutional questions of the legitmacy, and there was a do over Wednesday evening. Good to know the power of the mother of all goverenment information, the Constituion, still has its foundational mojo going — especially after eight years were the practice and philosophy seemed to consider constitutional advantages in such a limited fashion.

What I find more curious (but not surprised, considering other news stories of the technological and transitional state of affairs in the White House) is how few (if any) of Obama’s official words, statements, news releases, etc. actually appear on the White House web page. The other official sources, Weekly Compilation and the Federal Register are also behind.

I predict a robust life and purpose for government informationn librarians in the near future.

See you on Day 3