The Federal Register has launched a re-design of its Website, federalregister.gov. The new site is XML-based and was developed using open source code (now available on GitHub).

“The Daily Journal of the United States,” the FR is managed by the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) and serves as “the legal newspaper of the U.S. government and contains rules, proposed rules, and public notices of federal agencies, as well Presidential documents.”

The time has come to build a reliable, open platform that allows local governments to post development requirements and give private developers the ability to respond and build these applications for free.

Going a step further, we need to build a free, open source platform specifically for government, making it easier for government to install and implement and leverage plugins or modules for anything from standard contact forms to 311 citizen requests applications.

Sunlight Foundation has launched TransparencyData, a new Website that lets users easily access the past 20 years of federal and state campaign contributions all in one place. The site merges data from OpenSecrets, FollowTheMoney.org and lobbying information from the Senate Office of Public Records.

The Public Online Information Act (POIA) of 2010, H.R.4858, was introduced on March 13 by Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) to put public information online in user-friendly formats in a timely fashion. The bill applies to Executive Branch agencies and is essentially a proactive approach to FOIA (Freedom of Information Act). Sunlight Foundation has launched Public=Online, a grassroots campaign to gain support for the legislation.

Sunlight Labs is holding a civic design contest, Design for America, in an effort to “make government data more accessible and comprehensible to the American public.” Categories are Data Visualization, Process Transparency and Redesigning the Government.

Fresh from: Sunlight is a new GovFresh feature that highlights the latest transparency and open government news directly from Sunlight Foundation and Sunlight Labs. Contributors will include Sunlight’s best and brightest, including transparency hunk Jake Brewer.

On the heels of the Open Government Memo of January 21st, 2009, the Obama Administration has issued the Open Government Directive. The Directive tells agencies what they must do to meet the expectations set by the Memo. The directive names many deadlines for agency compliance, most of them around reducing FOIA backlogs and increasing the amount of agency data released to the public. This isn’t surprising, since the Memo names transparency, collaboration, and participation as the guiding principles. Transparency is the easiest to articulate and implement — just get the data out there in a useful form. Josh Tauberer’s Open Data is Civic Capital: Best Practices for “Open Government Data” is an excellent handbook for doing this. If you want to track agencies’ progress, the Sunlight Labs folks have produced the outstanding Open Watcher.

Sunlight Foundation is a Washington, DC-based 501c(3) non-profit organization founded in 2006 to focus on “making government transparent and accountable.” Its name comes from a quote by Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis: “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

Sunlight was co-founded by Michael Klein and Ellen Miller. Miller serves as its executive director.

Here’s what open government and Gov 2.0 leaders are saying about the new White House Open Government Directive.

Sunlight Labs has joined with Mozilla, Google, Redhat, Fedora, Open Source for America and Code for America to promote the Great American Hackathon. The two-day event, December 12-13, aims to “to solve as many open government problems as we can with as many hackathons across the country as possible.”