The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has signaled a desire to continue a push for more openness by federal agencies, holding a hearing on several pending proposals and advancing two of them.
The major proposal–offered as a bill in the prior Congress but not yet introduced in the current Congress–would require agencies to make their data publicly available, unless prohibited by law, as machine-readable data with no restrictions on copying, publication, distribution, transmittal, citing, or adaptation.
Agencies further would have to make their enterprise data inventories available to the public on data.gov, and designate a point of contact to assist the public and respond to complaints about adherence to open data requirements, under the plan. For privacy, security, confidentiality, or regulatory reasons, agencies could maintain a nonpublic portion of their inventories, however.
OMB would oversee the completeness and public availability of each agency’s data inventory, and GSA would maintain a single public interface online as a point of entry dedicated to sharing open government data with the public.
Also high priority are bills to allow the GAO to conduct audits of the Federal Reserve Board’s deliberations of monetary policy and its interactions with foreign banks and countries (HR-24); and to allow the public to make FOIA requests while Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac are in conservatorship under the Federal Housing Finance Agency (HR-1694).