On April 4, 2011, Rep. Israel re-introduced the Public Online Information Act (POIA) (H.R. 1349), a bill that would require all public executive branch information be available online. He first introduced this legislation during the 111th Congress (2009-2010).
“Right now, our government will stamp something ‘public’ and lock it away in a warehouse in Maryland. That's about as accessible and transparent as a nuclear missile silo," Rep. Israel has said. “It’s time for ‘public’ to mean something different. People across the country – from scholars to school children – should be able to see any public government information from the convenience of their computer.”
OMB’s E-Government Administrator and CIOs at independent agencies are responsible for crafting regulations to implement POIA. The public is granted a limited private right of action (similar to that under FOIA) to guarantee that the government lives up to its transparency obligations. There are commonsense exemptions for trade secrets, matters of national security, personal privacy and other information that is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.
Public information that would be required to be online under my bill but currently is not includes:
Information about the Public Online Information Act is also available at http://thepoia.org.
Rep. Israel has worked in Congress to increase transparency. As a Member of the House Appropriations Committee, he supported unprecedented transparency reforms. He is also one of the few Members of Congress to voluntarily post his personal financial disclosure on his website.
Rep. Israel has compiled this list of "open government" resources. Visit these sites to learn about how the government is spending tax dollars or how you can participate in the government process.
If you have an idea about putting this data to work or more resources that should be added, please contact Rep. Israel's office.