It was two short, short years ago that the Obama administration thrilled data and transparency wonks by launching Data.gov, USASpending.govand a number of other ambitious sites. But as Marshall Kirkpatrick reported in our top story this week, Congress is now planning to eliminate the sites' funding. There's a push to save them (check the story for the updates), but I have a sinking feeling that it was just too good to last.
Two years ago the incoming Obama administration launched a number of ambitious websites, most notably Data.gov, that were dedicated to offering public and government data to the outside world. The stated intention was to foster transparency and offer a platform for the development of new software and services. It appears those experiments may be over for now.
Today the Sunlight Foundation and Federal News Radio reported that the public projects Data.gov, USASpending.gov, Apps.gov/now, IT Dashboard and paymentaccuracy.gov as well as a number of internal government sites including Performance.gov, FedSpace and many of the efforts related the FEDRamp cloud computing cybersecurity effort would be taken offline in coming weeks due to budget cuts by Congress. Perhaps things like electronic government, software platforms and public accountability were just fads, anyway.
Update:. We're hearing from several places that there's a potentially viable effort to save these sites and organizations. Here is one perspective on that and you can also see the Sunlight Foundation'sSave the Data petition. See also Alex Howard's in-depth reporting on this news published on Friday