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Open Letter: Congress Must Protect Transparency Programs in Budget Negotiations

Open Letter: Congress Must Protect Transparency Programs in Budget Negotiations

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Published by Sunlight Foundation
Letter to congressional leadership expressing concerns about proposed budget reductions that would effectively eliminate important government transparency programs.
Letter to congressional leadership expressing concerns about proposed budget reductions that would effectively eliminate important government transparency programs.

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Categories:Types, Letters
Published by: Sunlight Foundation on Mar 28, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/10/2013

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March 28, 2011
Open Letter: Congress Must Protect Transparency Programs in Budget Negotiations
Dear Speaker Boehner, Minority Leader Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, and Minority Leader McConnell:We, the undersigned, are writing to express our concerns over proposed budget reductions thatwould effectively eliminate important government transparency programs. The budget for Data.gov,USASpending.gov, the IT Dashboard, and other data transparency and government accountabilityprograms funded through the Electronic Government Fund would be slashed from $34 million to $2million if the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act passed by the House or considered by the Senatebecame law.In recent years Congress and the Executive Branch have taken serious steps toward increasinggovernment transparency. We applaud those efforts. Justice Brandeis said Sunlight is said to be the
 best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman, but these proposed cuts would put the
 American people back in the dark.These e-government initiatives help the government operate more effectively and efficiently,thereby saving taxpayer money and aiding oversight. They increase economic opportunities for smallbusiness. They also increase citizen knowledge of and involvement in the democratic process. Fullyrealized transparency would allow us to track every expense and truly understand how money like
 that in the electronic government fund flows to federal programs. Government spending and
 performance data must be available online, in real time, and in machine-readable formats.An open and accountable government is a prerequisite for democracy. Keeping these programsalive would cost a mere pittance when compared to the value of bringing the federal government intothe sunlight. As you consider the budget for the remainder of this year, please sustain funding for thesevital transparency programs.Sincerely yours,The Sunlight Foundation

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