For Immediate Release: 
March 17, 2017
 
Contact:
Matthew Nocella, (202) 724-8105

Grosso introduces bill to promote greater transparency in D.C. government

Washington, D.C. – Councilmember David Grosso introduced legislation on Tuesday to foster more open and responsive government by strengthening existing open government laws.

“An open and transparent government is more likely to be an effective and ethical government—a good government,” said Grosso. “When we open up the government for our residents to see, it increases confidence in our work, and lets the public highlight areas for improvement.”

The Strengthening Government Transparency Amendment Act of 2017 strengthens D.C.’s Freedom of Information Act, Open Meetings Act, and Open Government Office Act and codifies key components of past mayoral orders on open data.

The bill establishes in D.C. law the principle that if government information is deemed appropriate to share with one person under a Freedom of Information Act request, it should be shared with everyone and ought to be proactively published. It also shifts the Freedom of Information Act appeals process from the mayor’s office to the independent Office of Open Government, bringing more objectivity and expertise to the appeals process.

Additionally, the Open Meetings Act is reinforced by requiring that a public meeting is one where the public is permitted to be present, creating a complaint process for alleged violations, and a private right of action for residents when a meeting that should be open is improperly closed.

“Having an open and accountable government is something we should constantly strive for in D.C.,” Grosso said.

Councilmember Mary Cheh co-introduced the bill with Grosso.

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