Thursday, January 03, 2008

Letting Ever More Sunshine In

A few months ago, I told you about this interesting and important initiative designed to foster greater government transparency (scroll down to the last item). I'm glad to see that the founding sponsor of that watchdog project, the wonderfully named Sunlight Foundation, just two years old this month, isn't resting on its laurels. Instead, the foundation recently teamed up with the well-respected nonprofit watchdog group OMB Watch on another innovative tool for watchdog journalism, this online database of federal spending. It was launched more than a year ago, but a recent upgrade made it a far more powerful and flexible tool for journalists. You can expect to see lots of them begin using this tool soon. In fact, Business Week has already capitalized on it to develop this excellent and insightful list of the top ten contractors to the closest thing corporate America has to Santa Claus, the federal Department of Homeland Security. When and if you get the time, I'd recommend that you check out one or all of the three blogs published by OMB Watch, now celebrating its 25th year as an independent bird dog of the federal budget. The Sunlight Foundation blog is here, and a blog for one of its key investigative projects is here.


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