Megan Taylor

front-end dev, volunteacher, news & data junkie, bibliophile, Flyers fan, sci-fi geek and kitteh servant

Congressional Web Site Investigation

A while ago I wrote about a number of online political projects, including the Sunlight Foundation’s Congressional Web Site Investigation.

Today I got an e-mail from Bill Allison:

…we investigated 536 congressional Web sites–supported by taxpayer dollars–and found that a staggering 499 members have sites that do not offer basic information about their official duties in Washington.

Members didn’t bother to mention the names of the committees on which they serve, or link to the bills they introduce into Congress, or, in a few cases, even an email address to write them. Not a single member offers or links to the disclosure forms they’re legally required to file on their income, junkets and office expenditures. And just a handful offer information on their daily schedules or the earmarks they sponsor.

Included was information on their next project, Congresspedia.

Now, we want to add the results of the investigation to each member’s “permanent record” – their Congresspedia profile. Below is a link that will take you to the complete results of the survey for each member of Congress you investigated. We’ve set up an easy-to-use, semi-automated process by which you can add the results for Congresspedia’s tens of thousands of daily readers to see when they look up their member of Congress. Hopefully this will help educate citizens about how transparent their members are and serve as a powerful incentive for members to improve their transparency for the next time we conduct this investigation.

I think this is a great way to provide interested citizens with information about their representatives in government. Head on over to Congresspedia for more information.

Will CAR (Computer Assisted Reporting) also stand for Citizen Assisted Reporting? Or will we just stick to calling it citizen journalism?

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