New York’s Transparency Revolution — Postponed.


Update March 13, 2012
We delayed the release of our “Transparency Revolution” recommendations because of the impending announcement of a deal on redistricting on Monday AM. That deal wasn’t announced, but redistricting is at a fever pitch, and has completely overshadowed Sunshine Week.

Original Post March 9, 2012

Healthy, functional democracies embrace government transparency.


On Monday – the first day of Sunshine Week 2012 – leading civic and government watchdog groups will call on the Governor, Legislature, Attorney General and Comptroller to use the explosion in affordable Information Technology to make New York State government vastly more transparent, responsive, accountable and effective. Sunshine Week was created in 2005 to promote Freedom of Information Laws. We strongly support “FOIL,” but we absolutely agree with the state’s FOIL ombudsmen at the Committee on Open Government when they say in their 2011 annual report that it is time to move past FOIL:

“We are at a crossroads, and the time has come for government agencies to ‘push’ records and information out to the public without a request whenever reasonable and able to do so.”

Abundant, affordable Information Technology – smart phones, iPads, apps, the Internet, wifi, social networking, interactive mapping – is transforming everyday life and work. But this technology revolution hasn’t triggered a transparency revolution in Albany. At least, not yet. We aim to change that. New Yorkers can’t afford to have our government squandering public resources – and government digital information is a form of public wealth. Sharing that digital wealth can help spur the innovation economy, improve public services, and reduce the cost of government by increasing efficiency and reducing corruption. On Monday, we will releases a report that includes numerous recommendations harnessing the Information Revolution to spur the Transparency Revolution. Stay tuned and follow @ReinventAlbany on Twitter.