Availability of Government Data

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 This page begins building the foundation for creating a systemic approach to knowing the availability of government data.

Contents

Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)

Policies for Federal Agency Public Websites

1. Establish and Maintain Information Dissemination Product Inventories, Priorities, and Schedules
A. Your agency is already required under OMB Circular A-130 and the Paperwork Reduction Act to disseminate information to the public in a timely, equitable, efficient, and appropriate manner and to maintain inventories of information dissemination products.
B. Section 207 of the E-Government Act requires your agency to develop priorities and schedules for making Government information available and accessible to the public, in accordance with public comment, and to post this information on your agency’s website. Section 207 also requires your agency to report to OMB, as part of the agency’s annual EGovernment Act report, the final determinations of inventories, priorities, and schedules your agency has made.
C. Your agency must also post to your agency’s website any updates to your agency’s final determination of inventories, priorities, and schedules, and include this information in your agency’s annual E-Government Act report.
2. Ensure Information Quality
A. Your agency is already required under the Information Quality Act and associated guidelines to maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information and services provided to the public. This includes making information and services available on a timely and equitable basis.
B. Agencies must reasonably assure suitable information and service quality, consistent with the level of importance of the information. Reasonable steps include: 1) clearly identifying the limitations inherent in the information dissemination product (e.g., possibility of errors, degree of reliability, and validity) so users are fully aware of the quality and integrity of the information or service, 2) taking reasonable steps to remove the limitations inherent in the information, and 3) reconsidering delivery of the information or services.
5. Search Public Websites.
A. You are already required under OMB Circular A-130 to assist the public in locating government information.
B. You must now ensure your agency’s principal public website and any major entry point include a search function. However, agencies may determine in limited circumstances (e.g., for small websites) site maps or subject indexes are more effective than a typical search function.
9. Maintain Accessibility.
A. Your agency is already required to ensure accessibility for individuals with disabilities by implementing Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 794d). Federal agency public websites must be designed to make information and services fully available to individuals with disabilities. For additional information see: http://www.access-board.gov/index.htm
B. Your agency is already required to provide appropriate access for people with limited English proficiency by implementing Department of Justice guidance for Executive Order 13166, “Improving Access to Services for People with Limited English Proficiency.” Agencies must determine whether any individual document on their Federal agency public website(s) requires translation. For additional information see: http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/cor/Pubs/lepqa.htm
10. Manage Records.
A. You are already required to meet records management requirements by implementing OMB Circular A-130 and guidance from the National Archives and Records Administration. See 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Parts 1220-1238). For additional information see: http://www.archives.gov/records_management/index.html

Updated Guidance on Developing a Handbook for Individuals Seeking Access to Public Information

With respect to paragraphs (1) and (2), an agency must place its index and description of major information and record locator systems in its reference material or guide. We expect that this index and description would include an agency's Government Information Locator Service (GILS) presence as well as any other major information and record locator systems the agency has identified. The requirements of GILS are described in the attached OMB Bulletin 95-01, "Establishment of Government Information Locator Service."
With respect to paragraph (3), each agency should prepare a handbook that describes in one place the various ways by which a person can obtain public information from the agency, as well as the types and categories of information available. In preparing the handbook each agency should review the dissemination policies and practices set out in OMB Circular A-130, "Management of Federal Information Resources." The handbook should be in plain English and user-friendly. Where applicable, it should indicate that the public is encouraged to access information electronically via the agency's home page or to search in its reading room, and that the public may also submit a request to the agency under the Freedom of Information Act. "Types and categories" of available information will vary from agency to agency, and agencies should describe their information resources in whatever manner seems most appropriate.
Although the law does not require that the handbook be available on-line, OMB encourages agencies to do so as a matter of policy.
The handbook should include the following elements: The location of reading rooms within the agency and within its major field offices, as well as a brief description of the types and categories of information available.
  • The location of the agency's World Wide Web home page.
  • A reference to the agency's FOIA regulations and how to get a copy.
  • A reference to the agency's FOIA annual report and how to get a copy.
  • The location of the agency's GILS page.
  • A brief description of the types and categories of information generally available from the agency.
In addition, if there is an on-line version, it should have electronic links to these elements wherever they exist.

Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated by Federal Agencies

SUMMARY: These guidelines implement section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Public Law 106-554). Section 515 directs the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to issue government-wide guidelines that "provide policy and procedural guidance to Federal agencies for ensuring and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information (including statistical information) disseminated by Federal agencies." Within one year after OMB issues these guidelines, agencies must issue their own implementing guidelines that include "administrative mechanisms allowing affected persons to seek and obtain correction of information maintained and disseminated by the agency" that does not comply with the OMB guidelines. OMB is also requesting additional comment for 30 days on the "capable of being substantially reproduced" standard (paragraphs V.3.B, V.9, and V.10) which is issued on an interim final basis.

Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 1996

5 U.S.C. 552 (a)(2)

Public information; agency rules, opinions, orders, records, and proceedings

(a) Each agency shall make available to the public information as follows:

(2) Each agency, in accordance with published rules, shall make available for public inspection and copying--

(A) final opinions, including concurring and dissenting opinions, as well as orders, made in the adjudication of cases;

(B) those statements of policy and interpretations which have been adopted by the agency and are not published in the Federal Register; and

(C) administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public;

(D) copies of all records, regardless of form or format, which have been released to any person under paragraph (3) and which, because of the nature of their subject matter, the agency determines have become or are likely to become the subject of subsequent requests for substantially the same records; and

(E) a general index of the records referred to under subparagraph (D);

Federal Register Act 5 U.S.C. 522(a)(1)

(a) Each agency shall make available to the public information as follows:

(1) Each agency shall separately state and currently publish in the Federal Register for the guidance of the public—

(A) descriptions of its central and field organization and the established places at which, the employees (and in the case of a uniformed service, the members) from whom, and the methods whereby, the public may obtain information, make submittals or requests, or obtain decisions;

(B) statements of the general course and method by which its functions are channeled and determined, including the nature and requirements of all formal and informal procedures available;

(C) rules of procedure, descriptions of forms available or the places at which forms may be obtained, and instructions as to the scope and contents of all papers, reports, or examinations;

(D) substantive rules of general applicability adopted as authorized by law, and statements of general policy or interpretations of general applicability formulated and adopted by the agency; and

(E) each amendment, revision, or repeal of the foregoing.

A130 Memo, OMB Circular

Relevant sections below:

How will agencies conduct Information Management Planning?
1. Provide for public access to records where required or appropriate.
c. What are the guidelines for Electronic Information Collection?
Executive agencies under Sections 1703 and 1705 of the Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA), P. L. 105-277, Title XVII, are required to provide, by October 21, 2003, the (1) option of the electronic maintenance, submission, or disclosure of information, when practicable as a substitute for paper; and (2) use and acceptance of electronic signatures, when practicable. Agencies will follow the provisions in OMB Memorandum M-00-10, "Procedures and Guidance on Implementing of the Government Paperwork Elimination Act."
e. How must an agency provide information to the public?
Agencies have a responsibility to provide information to the public consistent with their missions. Agencies will discharge this responsibility by:
(a) Providing information, as required by law, describing agency organization, activities, programs, meetings, systems of records, and other information holdings, and how the public may gain access to agency information resources;
(b) Providing access to agency records under provisions of the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act, subject to the protections and limitations provided for in these Acts;
(c) Providing such other information as is necessary or appropriate for the proper performance of agency functions; and
(d) In determining whether and how to disseminate information to the public, agencies will:
(i) Disseminate information in a manner that achieves the best balance between the goals of maximizing the usefulness of the information and minimizing the cost to the government and the public;
(ii) Disseminate information dissemination products on equitable and timely terms;
(iii) Take advantage of all dissemination channels, Federal and nonfederal, including State and local governments, libraries and private sector entities, in discharging agency information dissemination responsibilities; (iv) Help the public locate government information maintained by or for the agency.

8. How will agencies carry out electronic information dissemination?
Agencies will use electronic media and formats, including public networks, as appropriate and within budgetary constraints, in order to make government information more easily accessible and useful to the public. The use of electronic media and formats for information dissemination is appropriate under the following conditions:
(a) The agency develops and maintains the information electronically;
(b) Electronic media or formats are practical and cost effective ways to provide public access to a large, highly detailed volume of information;
(c) The agency disseminates the product frequently;
(d) The agency knows a substantial portion of users have ready access to the necessary information technology and training to use electronic information dissemination products;
(e) A change to electronic dissemination, as the sole means of disseminating the product, will not impose substantial acquisition or training costs on users, especially State and local governments and small business entities.

Paperwork Reduction Act

44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

44 U.S.C. 3503. Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (excerpts below)

(a) There is established in the Office of Management and Budget an office to be known as the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
(b) There shall be at the head of the Office an Administrator who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Director shall delegate to the Administrator the authority to administer all functions under this subchapter, except that any such delegation shall not relieve the Director of responsibility for the administration of such functions. The Administrator shall serve as principal adviser to the Director on Federal information resources management policy.

44 U.S.C. 3505. Assignment of tasks and deadlines (excerpts below)

(a) In carrying out the functions under this subchapter, the Director shall--
(3) in consultation with the Administrator of General Services, the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Archivist of the United States, and the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, develop and maintain a Governmentwide strategic plan for information resources management, that shall include--
(A) a description of the objectives and the means by which the Federal Government shall apply information resources to improve agency and program performance;
(B) plans for--
(i) reducing information burdens on the public, including reducing such burdens through the elimination of duplication and meeting shared data needs with shared resources;
(ii) enhancing public access to and dissemination of, information, using electronic and other formats; and
(iii) meeting the information technology needs of the Federal Government in accordance with the purposes of this subchapter

44 U.S.C. 3506. Federal agency responsibilities (excerpts below)

(2)(A) Except as provided under subparagraph (B), the head of each agency shall designate a Chief Information Officer who shall report directly to such agency head to carry out the responsibilities of the agency under this subchapter.
(B) The Secretary of the Department of Defense and the Secretary of each military department may each designate Chief Information Officers who shall report directly to such Secretary to carry out the responsibilities of the department under this subchapter. If more than one Chief Information Officer is designated, the respective duties of the Chief Information Officers shall be clearly delineated.
(b) With respect to general information resources management, each agency shall--
(1) manage information resources to--
(A) reduce information collection burdens on the public;
(B) increase program efficiency and effectiveness; and
(C) improve the integrity, quality, and utility of information to all users within and outside the agency, including capabilities for ensuring dissemination of public information, public access to government information, and protections for privacy and security;
(2) in accordance with guidance by the Director, develop and maintain a strategic information resources management plan that shall describe how information resources management activities help accomplish agency missions;
(3) develop and maintain an ongoing process to--
(A) ensure that information resources management operations and decisions are integrated with organizational planning, budget, financial management, human resources management, and program decisions;
(B) in cooperation with the agency Chief Financial Officer (or comparable official), develop a full and accurate accounting of information technology expenditures, related expenses, and results; and
(C) establish goals for improving information resources management's contribution to program productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness, methods for measuring progress towards those goals, and clear roles and responsibilities for achieving those goals;
(B) ensure that each information collection--
(i) is inventoried, displays a control number and, if appropriate, an expiration date;
(ii) indicates the collection is in accordance with the clearance requirements of section 3507; and
(iii) informs the person receiving the collection of information of--
(I) the reasons the information is being collected;
(II) the way such information is to be used;
(III) an estimate, to the extent practicable, of the burden of the collection;
(IV) whether responses to the collection of information are voluntary, required to obtain a benefit, or mandatory; and
(V) the fact that an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid control number; and
(C) assess the information collection burden of proposed legislation affecting the agency;
(d) With respect to information dissemination, each agency shall--
(1) ensure that the public has timely and equitable access to the agency's public information, including ensuring such access through--
(A) encouraging a diversity of public and private sources for information based on government public information;
(B) in cases in which the agency provides public information maintained in electronic format, providing timely and equitable access to the underlying data (in whole or in part); and
(C) agency dissemination of public information in an efficient, effective, and economical manner;
(2) regularly solicit and consider public input on the agency's information dissemination activities;
(3) provide adequate notice when initiating, substantially modifying, or terminating significant information dissemination products
(f) With respect to records management, each agency shall implement and enforce applicable policies and procedures, including requirements for archiving information maintained in electronic format, particularly in the planning, design and operation of information systems.

44 U.S.C. 3511. Establishment and operation of Federal Information Locator System (excerpts below)

(a) In order to assist agencies and the public in locating information and to promote information sharing and equitable access by the public, the Director shall--
(1) cause to be established and maintained a distributed agency-based electronic Government Information Locator Service (hereafter in this section referred to as the "Service"), which shall identify the major information systems, holdings, and dissemination products of each agency;
(2) require each agency to establish and maintain an agency information locator service as a component of, and to support the establishment and operation of the Service;
(3) in cooperation with the Archivist of the United States, the Administrator of General Services, the Public Printer, and the Librarian of Congress, establish an interagency committee to advise the Secretary of Commerce on the development of technical standards for the Service to ensure compatibility, promote information sharing, and uniform access by the public;
(4) consider public access and other user needs in the establishment and operation of the Service;
(5) ensure the security and integrity of the Service, including measures to ensure that only information which is intended to be disclosed to the public is disclosed through the Service; and
(6) periodically review the development and effectiveness of the Service and make recommendations for improvement, including other mechanisms for improving public access to Federal agency public information.

44 U.S.C. 3513. Director review of agency activities; reporting; agency response (excerpts below)

(a) In consultation with the Administrator of General Services, the Archivist of the United States, the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, the Director shall periodically review selected agency information resources management activities to ascertain the efficiency and effectiveness of such activities to improve agency performance and the accomplishment of agency missions.
(b) Each agency having an activity reviewed under subsection (a) shall, within 60 days after receipt of a report on the review, provide a written plan to the Director describing steps (including milestones) to--
(1) be taken to address information resources management problems identified in the report; and
(2) improve agency performance and the accomplishment of agency missions.

44 U.S.C. 3517. Consultation with other agencies and the public (excerpts below)

(a) In developing information resources management policies, plans, rules, regulations, procedures, and guidelines and in reviewing collections of information, the Director shall provide interested agencies and persons early and meaningful opportunity to comment.
(b) Any person may request the Director to review any collection of information conducted by or for an agency to determine, if, under this subchapter, a person shall maintain, provide, or disclose the information to or for the agency. Unless the request is frivolous, the Director shall, in coordination with the agency responsible for the collection of information--
(1) respond to the request within 60 days after receiving the request, unless such period is extended by the Director to a specified date and the person making the request is given notice of such extension; and
(2) take appropriate remedial action, if necessary.

E-Government Act of 2002

(1) COMMITTEE FUNCTIONS- Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Committee shall submit recommendations to the Director on--

(A) the adoption of standards, which are open to the maximum extent feasible, to enable the organization and categorization of Government information--

(i) in a way that is searchable electronically, including by searchable identifiers; and

(ii) in ways that are interoperable across agencies;

(B) the definition of categories of Government information which should be classified under the standards; and

(C) determining priorities and developing schedules for the initial implementation of the standards by agencies.

(f) AGENCY WEBSITES-

(1) STANDARDS FOR AGENCY WEBSITES- Not later than 2 years after the effective date of this title, the Director shall promulgate guidance for agency websites that includes--

(A) requirements that websites include direct links to--

(i) descriptions of the mission and statutory authority of the agency;

(ii) information made available to the public under subsections (a)(1) and (b) of section 552 of title 5, United States Code (commonly referred to as the `Freedom of Information Act');

(iii) information about the organizational structure of the agency; and

(iv) the strategic plan of the agency developed under section 306 of title 5, United States Code; and

(B) minimum agency goals to assist public users to navigate agency websites, including--

(i) speed of retrieval of search results;

(ii) the relevance of the results;

(iii) tools to aggregate and disaggregate data; and

(iv) security protocols to protect information.

(2) AGENCY REQUIREMENTS-

(A) Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, each agency shall--

(i) consult with the Committee and solicit public comment;

(ii) establish a process for determining which Government information the agency intends to make available and accessible to the public on the Internet and by other means;

(iii) develop priorities and schedules for making Government information available and accessible;

(iv) make such final determinations, priorities, and schedules available for public comment;

(v) post such final determinations, priorities, and schedules on the Internet; and

(vi) submit such final determinations, priorities, and schedules to the Director, in the report established under section 202(g).

(B) Each agency shall update determinations, priorities, and schedules of the agency, as needed, after consulting with the Committee and soliciting public comment, if appropriate.

(3) PUBLIC DOMAIN DIRECTORY OF PUBLIC FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WEBSITES-

(A) ESTABLISHMENT- Not later than 2 years after the effective date of this title, the Director and each agency shall--

(i) develop and establish a public domain directory of public Federal Government websites; and

(ii) post the directory on the Internet with a link to the integrated Internet-based system established under section 204.

(g) ACCESS TO FEDERALLY FUNDED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT-

(1) DEVELOPMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF GOVERNMENTWIDE REPOSITORY AND WEBSITE-

(A) REPOSITORY AND WEBSITE- The Director of the Office of Management and Budget (or the Director's delegate), in consultation with the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and other relevant agencies, shall ensure the development and maintenance of--

(i) a repository that fully integrates, to the maximum extent feasible, information about research and development funded by the Federal Government, and the repository shall--

(I) include information about research and development funded by the Federal Government, consistent with any relevant protections for the information under section 552 of title 5, United States Code, and performed by--

(aa) institutions not a part of the Federal Government, including State, local, and foreign governments; industrial firms; educational institutions; not-for-profit organizations; federally funded research and development centers; and private individuals; and

(bb) entities of the Federal Government, including research and development laboratories, centers, and offices; and

(II) integrate information about each separate research and development task or award, including--

(aa) the dates upon which the task or award is expected to start and end;

(bb) a brief summary describing the objective and the scientific and technical focus of the task or award;

(cc) the entity or institution performing the task or award and its contact information;

(dd) the total amount of Federal funds expected to be provided to the task or award over its lifetime and the amount of funds expected to be provided in each fiscal year in which the work of the task or award is ongoing;

(ee) any restrictions attached to the task or award that would prevent the sharing with the general public of any or all of the information required by this subsection, and the reasons for such restrictions; and

(ff) such other information as may be determined to be appropriate; and

(ii) 1 or more websites upon which all or part of the repository of Federal research and development shall be made available to and searchable by Federal agencies and non-Federal entities, including the general public, to facilitate--

(I) the coordination of Federal research and development activities;

(II) collaboration among those conducting Federal research and development;

(III) the transfer of technology among Federal agencies and between Federal agencies and non-Federal entities; and

(IV) access by policymakers and the public to information concerning Federal research and development activities.

Memo on Regulatory Compliance

Presidential Memo - January 18, 2011 (excerpts below)

I direct the following:
First, agencies with broad regulatory compliance and administrative enforcement responsibilities, within 120 days of this memorandum, to the extent feasible and permitted by law, shall develop plans to make public information concerning their regulatory compliance and enforcement activities accessible, downloadable, and searchable online. In so doing, agencies should prioritize making accessible information that is most useful to the general public and should consider the use of new technologies to allow the public to have access to real-time data. The independent agencies are encouraged to comply with this directive.
Second, the Federal Chief Information Officer and the Chief Technology Officer shall work with appropriate counterparts in each agency to make such data available online in searchable form, including on centralized platforms such as data.gov, in a manner that facilitates easy access, encourages cross-agency comparisons, and engages the public in new and creative ways of using the information.
Third, the Federal Chief Information Officer and the Chief Technology Officer, in coordination with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and their counterparts in each agency, shall work to explore how best to generate and share enforcement and compliance information across the Government, consistent with law. Such data sharing can assist with agencies’ risk-based approaches to enforcement: A lack of compliance in one area by a regulated entity may indicate a need for examination and closer attention by another agency. Efforts to share data across agencies, where appropriate and permitted by law, may help to promote flexible and coordinated enforcement regimes.

Open Government Directive

Relevant excerpts below:

1. Publish Government Information Online
To increase accountability, promote informed participation by the public, and create economic opportunity, each agency shall take prompt steps to expand access to information by making it available online in open formats. With respect to information, the presumption shall be in favor of openness (to the extent permitted by law and subject to valid privacy, confidentiality, security, or other restrictions).
a. Agencies shall respect the presumption of openness by publishing information online (in addition to any other planned or mandated publication methods) and by preserving and maintaining electronic information, consistent with the Federal Records Act and other applicable law and policy. Timely publication of information is an essential component of transparency. Delays should not be viewed as an inevitable and insurmountable consequence of high demand.
b. To the extent practicable and subject to valid restrictions, agencies should publish information online in an open format that can be retrieved, downloaded, indexed, and searched by commonly used web search applications. An open format is one that is platform independent, machine readable, and made available to the public without restrictions that would impede the re-use of that information.
c. To the extent practical and subject to valid restrictions, agencies should proactively use modern technology to disseminate useful information, rather than waiting for specific requests under FOIA.
d. Within 45 days, each agency shall identify and publish online in an open format at least three high-value data sets (see attachment section 3.a.i) and register those data sets via Data.gov. These must be data sets not previously available online or in a downloadable format.
e. Within 60 days, each agency shall create an Open Government Webpage located at http://www.[agency].gov/open to serve as the gateway for agency activities related to the Open Government Directive and shall maintain and update that webpage in a timely fashion.
f. Each Open Government Webpage shall incorporate a mechanism for the public to:
i. Give feedback on and assessment of the quality of published information;
ii. Provide input about which information to prioritize for publication; and iii. Provide input on the agency’s Open Government Plan (see 3.a.).
g. Each agency shall respond to public input received on its Open Government Webpage on a regular basis.
h. Each agency shall publish its annual Freedom of Information Act Report in an open format on its Open Government Webpage in addition to any other planned dissemination methods.
i. Each agency with a significant pending backlog of outstanding Freedom of Information requests shall take steps to reduce any such backlog by ten percent each year.
j. Each agency shall comply with guidance on implementing specific Presidential open government initiatives, such as Data.gov, eRulemaking, IT Dashboard, Recovery.gov, and USAspending.gov.
Components of the [Open Government] Plan:
a. Transparency: Your agency’s Open Government Plan should explain in detail how your agency will improve transparency. It should describe steps the agency will take to conduct its work more openly and publish its information online, including any proposed changes to internal management and administrative policies to improve transparency. Specifically, as part of your Plan to enhance information dissemination, your agency should describe how it is currently meeting its legal information dissemination obligations,6 and how it plans to improve its existing information dissemination practices by providing:
i. A strategic action plan for transparency that (1) inventories agency high-value information currently available for download; (2) fosters the public’s use of this information to increase public knowledge and promote public scrutiny of agency services; and (3) identifies high value information not yet available and establishes a reasonable timeline for publication online in open formats with specific target dates. High-value information is information that can be used to increase agency accountability and responsiveness; improve public knowledge of the agency and its operations; further the core mission of the agency; create economic opportunity; or respond to need and demand as identified through public consultation.
ii. In cases where the agency provides public information maintained in electronic format, a plan for timely publication of the underlying data. This underlying data should be in an open format and as granular as possible, consistent with statutory responsibilities and subject to valid privacy, confidentiality, security, or other restrictions. Your agency should also identify key audiences for its information and their needs, and endeavor to publish high-value information for each of those audiences in the most accessible forms and formats. In particular, information created or commissioned by the Government for educational use by teachers or students and made available online should clearly demarcate the public’s right to use, modify, and distribute the information.
iii. Details as to how your agency is complying with transparency initiative guidance such as Data.gov, eRulemaking, IT Dashboard, Recovery.gov, and USAspending.gov. Where gaps exist, the agency should detail the steps the agency is taking and the timing to meet the requirements for each initiative.
iv. Details of proposed actions to be taken, with clear milestones, to inform the public of significant actions and business of your agency, such as through agency public meetings, briefings, press conferences on the Internet, and periodic national town hall meetings.
v. A link to a publicly available website that shows how your agency is meeting its existing records management requirements.7 These requirements serve as the foundation for your agency’s records management program, which includes such activities as identifying and scheduling all electronic records,8 and ensuring the timely transfer of all permanently valuable records to the National Archives.
vi. A link to a website that includes (1) a description of your staffing, organizational structure, and process for analyzing and responding to FOIA requests;(2) an assessment of your agency’s capacity to analyze, coordinate, and respond to such requests in a timely manner, together with proposed changes, technological resources, or reforms that your agency determines are needed to strengthen your response processes; and (3) if your agency has a significant backlog, milestones that detail how your agency will reduce its pending backlog of outstanding FOIA requests by at least ten percent each year. Providing prompt responses to FOIA requests keeps the public apprised of specific informational matters they seek.
vii. A description or link to a webpage that describes your staffing, organizational structure, and process for analyzing and responding to Congressional requests for information.
viii. A link to a publicly available webpage where the public can learn about your agency’s declassification programs, learn how to access declassified materials, and provide input about what types of information should be prioritized for declassification, as appropriate. Declassification of government information that no longer needs protection, in accordance with established procedures, is essential to the free flow of information.
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