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Category Archives: E-Government

Public advocacy groups sue White House over deletion and destruction of emails and tweets

CREW and National Security Archive news release: “President Trump and the Executive Office of the President appear to be violating the Presidential Records Act (PRA) and the Constitution’s requirement that the president “take care” that the laws be faithfully executed through the White House’s use of confidential messaging applications and other problematic practices including its destruction of the president’s tweets, according to a lawsuit filed today by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and the National Security Archive (NSA). Under the PRA, the president and his office are legally required to maintain these records for eventual public access. President Trump’s own comments have added an additional question about whether he is creating and maintaining secret recordings in the Oval Office, the existence of which his spokespeople continue to refuse to confirm or deny. “The American people not only deserve to know how their government is making important decisions, it’s the law,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said. “By deleting these records, the White House is destroying essential historical records.” The PRA ensures the preservation and public availability of presidential and vice presidential records once the administration leaves office. Numerous news agencies report that officials in the Trump White House are using applications such as Signal and Confide to ensure the destruction of sensitive email messages in violation of the PRA. “Thanks to Congress, since 2014, government employees have been required to copy any private server e-mail messages about government business to official systems within 20 days,” said National Security Archive director Tom Blanton. “Reports that Trump administration officials are disregarding this requirement – either by not following private e-mail protocol or by using encrypted messaging apps that prevent any kind of preservation – raise serious concerns that presidential records are at risk.” The lawsuit also challenges the White House’s use of executive orders to remove decision-making on key issues from agencies, which would be subject to transparency requirements and an open process, and instead inappropriately cloak the process in secrecy. CREW and NSA are also suing for the release of the White House visitor logs, which the Trump Administration stopped making public.”

WH Historical Assoc. Leverages Amazon Web Services to Expand Digitization of Historical Assets

News release: “The White House Historical Association [a private, non-profit organization founded in 1961 by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy]…announced [on June 21, 2017] a new innovative and strategic use of Amazon Web Services (AWS), expanding the Association’s digital archive and making educational materials more accessible to the public through the power of the AWS Cloud. … Continue Reading

Free tool allows users to locate and analyze curated public datasets from around the world

Caroline Scott’s article – “Data released by official agencies and government bodies provides transparency and insight, and can often highlight trends or anomalies that are in the public interest. However, some of these datasets are often difficult to access, while in other instances it is not clear whether they even exist, making it harder for… Continue Reading

2017 US Government Website Clarity Index

“VisibleThread’s Web Clarity Index is a methodology for measuring the clarity of web content. In 2016, Visible Thread published an Index as a follow-up comparison to a 2011 review of 29 federal agency websites based on clarity of written content. We measured up to 100 pages on each website, across these four dimensions: Readability –… Continue Reading

The 2017 EU Justice Scoreboard

“The EU Justice Scoreboard is an information tool aiming to assist the EU and Member States to achieve more effective justice by providing objective, reliable and comparable data on the quality, independence and efficiency of justice systems in all Member States. Such data is essential to support reforms in national justice systems required to render… Continue Reading

NASA Image, Audio and Video Library

“NASA content – images, audio, video, and computer files used in the rendition of 3-dimensional models, such as texture maps and polygon data in any format – generally are not copyrighted. You may use this material for educational or informational purposes, including photo collections, textbooks, public exhibits, computer graphical simulations and Internet Web pages. This… Continue Reading

The State of Open Government Data in 2017

The State of Open Government Data in 2017 – Creating meaningful open data through multi-stakeholder dialogue, Danny Lämmerhirt, Mor Rubinstein and Oscar Montiel. “The Global Open Data Index provides the most comprehensive snapshot available of the state of open government data publication.” “The updated Global Open Data Index has been published today, along with our… Continue Reading

Questions increase over determining extent of Russia election hacking

NPR – If Voting Machines Were Hacked, Would Anyone Know? – “As new reports emerge about Russian-backed attempts to hack state and local election systems [Link], U.S. officials are increasingly worried about how vulnerable American elections really are. While the officials say they see no evidence that any votes were tampered with, no one knows… Continue Reading

Agency scorecard on IT reform registers uniform decline

Nextgov: “For the first time since Congress began composing biannual scorecards ranking agency progress adhering to the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act in 2015, agency grades have dropped. Released prior to [the June 13, 2017] 2 p.m. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, 15 agencies held steady, four agencies improved and five fared… Continue Reading

Rep. Quigley Introduces COVFEFE Act to preserve Trump Tweets

News release: Legislation Expands Presidential Records Act Preservation to Include Social Media “Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Transparency Caucus, introduced the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement or “COVFEFE” Act. This bill codifies vital guidance from the National Archives by amending the Presidential Records Act to include… Continue Reading

New on LLRX – Competitive Intelligence – A Selective Resource Guide – Updated June 2017

Via LLRX.com – Competitive Intelligence – A Selective Resource Guide – Updated June 2017 Sabrina I. Pacifici has completely revised and updated her guide, which she first published in 2005 and has updated yearly since that time. A wide range of free sites with expertly sourced content specific to researchers focused on business, finance, government… Continue Reading

How to Find Deleted Public Health Assessments for Contaminated Sites

MemoryHole2: “How to Find Deleted Public Health Assessments for Contaminated Sites, June 5, 2017  – Click here to access the missing reports from prior to October 2004 UPDATE [June 8, 2017]: There’s a second source for these documents. Most of them exist in PDF format in the Commerce Department’s National Technical Information Service website. (These… Continue Reading