Congress cuts Data.Gov

Originally published:

Once again someone is doing it wrong on the internet and I feel I need to point it out.

In this case, the someone is the United States congress, which as part of its budgetary battle with the whitehouse has decided to reduce funding for a range of Gov2.0/Open Government initiatives from $34million to $2million.

Amongst the programmes getting slashed are some biggies like and These two sites and a raft of others are due to go dark between now and the end of June (IT Dashboard and Data have execution dates much earlier, April 20th is nothing changes).

I’m sorry but considering the size of the US budget and the cost of these programmes, I’m just wondering why they’ve been picked when I’m sure there is pork barreling else where that could be shaved out. Is it because these programmes are early Obama initiatives? Is it due to internal politicking regarding the mission of opening up the Government to the public? Is it because the Congress really doesn’t get this whole internet thing?

I would urge anybody who’s reading this in the US to contact their local rep and complain long, loud and eloquently about the closure of these programmes. They may not be perfect (name me a programme that is), however they are playing important pioneering roles for Open Government ideals, both within the United States and without.

Oh and one more thing, the United Kingdom, a country with economic issues similar to the US (though their budget is smaller), isn’t closing down their data service. In fact they’re embracing services like to help them find savings, something our american friends might like to consider.

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