- Date Awarded
- Grant Period
- 07/01/09 to 08/31/11
- Focus Areas
- Journalism, Media Innovation
- Washington, DC
To create and launch web tools allowing easily accessible public information on Congress
Sunlight Foundation was founded in January 2006 to harness the power of the Internet and new information technologies to enable citizens to learn more about what their elected representatives are doing. Sunlight aims to use the tools of open government to help reduce corruption, improve the conduct of public officials and increase the public’s trust in its democratic institutions.
The digital revolution has created the potential for a quantum leap in government openness – but only if we can make its instant information easy to find and use. Sunlight Foundation proposes to create a series of new, easy-to-use web tools to allow journalists and citizens to know not just about earmarks but many other actions of our Congressional representatives.
During the next two years, the grantee will develop, market and distribute a series of easy-to-use open-source software programs to provide journalists and citizens “integrated information” on Congress. These tools will provide more information about members of Congress more easily to more web users than ever before. This nonpartisan project can be expected during the midterm election to increase debate of fact-based issues the data reveals: earmarks, campaign contributions, federal contracts, voting records.
Ultimately, open government reduces corruption, ensures greater transparency and accountability, and fosters public trust in the vital institutions of democracy. The aim is that growing disclosure will create a virtuous cycle in which transparency creates demands for more, and subsequent increases in voluntary disclosure.