Fixing Washington: The Public Online Information Act

05/16/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The deal is to tell us what's really going on, how things work, where the money goes.

A lot of documents reveal that, but if they're on paper only, might as well not exist.

This new proposed law would require that all executive branch government stuff would be online and searchable. (It's a start.)

(There'd be obvious exclusions, like for legitimate national security.)

Here's the info from the Sunlight Foundation:

In the age of the Internet, government is transparent only when public information is available online. The Public Online Information Act (POIA) is legislation, introduced by Rep. Israel, that embraces a new formula for transparency: public equals online. No longer will antiquated government disclosure practices bury public information in out-of-the-way offices and in outmoded formats.

POIA requires Executive Branch agencies to publish all publicly available information on the Internet in a timely fashion and in user-friendly formats. It also creates an advisory committee to help develop government-wide Internet publication policies.

Disclaimer: because of stuff like this, I'm on the board of Sunlight.)