Sunshine Week events explore open-government issues

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sunshine Week, an initiative to increase awareness and dialogue about public access to government information, will be celebrated March 11-17. The annual effort is sponsored by the American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

As in the past, a number of organizations will host panels, programs and other events. Here is a guide to Sunshine Week events in Washington, D.C.

Monday, March 12

2-4 p.m. — Advisory Committee on Transparency hosts a discussion on the congressional budget and legislative branch appropriations. Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2203. Open to the public; RSVP requested.  More information

2-3 p.m. — Attorney General Eric Holder discusses improvements to the Freedom of Information Act under the Obama administration. Department of Justice Great Hall. Free, but registration required. More information

Tuesday, March 13

10:30 a.m. — Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “The Freedom of Information Act: Safeguarding Critical Infrastructure Information and the Public’s Right to Know.” Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 226. Among those testifying will be Miriam Nisbet, director, Office of Government Information Services. Webcast available for those who can’t attend. More information

6:30-8:30 p.m. — D.C. Open Government Coalition and National Press Club present the D.C. Open Government Summit. At the Press Club. Speakers include members of the District of Columbia government and local journalists. Reception to follow. No RSVP required. More information

Wednesday, March 14

6-8 p.m. — National Press Club hosts networking session. Groups attending: OpenTheGovernment.org, Online News Association, American Society of News Editors, POPVOX, ProPublica, Public Campaign, Public Citizen, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Sunlight Foundation, United Republic. Free and open to the public; registration required. More information

Friday, March 16

8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. — National Freedom of Information Day. Hosted each year by the First Amendment Center, the conference is conducted in partnership with the American Library Association, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, OMB Watch, OpenTheGovernment.org and the National Security Archive at George Washington University. Speakers will include Robert O’Neil, former director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression. Conference includes announcement by the American Library Association of its annual James Madison Award recipient. In afternoon sessions, OpenTheGovernment.org will present its 7th annual Sunshine Week event. Free, but registration requested. More information

9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. — American University Washington College of Law presents panels on open government and the Obama administration’s FOIA record. Free, but registration required. More information

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