Accountable USA
February 24, 2010 3:10 AM   Subscribe

Asking for a friend: which organizations in the USA promote government accountability?

My friend - an eastern european - is applying to get funding for a journalism project and he needs to come up with a plan of interviews and visits to institutions in the USA which have been active in promoting the government's accountability (examples would be vouching to preserve freedom of the press, to develop a politically active civil society, promoting citizen's journalism, etc, etc). These could be civil society initiatives or media related, or even independent/auditing public institutions (like GAO).

There seems to be a number of these institutions based in the US which are part of a foreign policy agenda and seem to have as goals promoting government accountability and transparence elsewhere in the world. What about home efforts?
posted by lucia__is__dada to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Best answer: Just last month there was a report card issued by a coalition of such groups grading the transparency efforts of the Obama administration. The primary authors were:

Common Cause ("Nonprofit, nonpartisan citizen's lobbying organization promoting open, honest and accountable government")

Democracy 21 ("nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to making democracy work for all Americans")

The Public Interest Research Group (anti-lobbyist, pro-campaign finance reform; "an advocate for the public interest")

The League of Women Voters (more of a voter information group)

You can read their full report here.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:56 AM on February 24, 2010

Best answer: Be sure to look at organizations that spearhead Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, such as National Security Archive (George Washington University) and Federation of American Scientists (who played a part in "outing" Area 51 on satellite imagery about 10 years ago).
posted by crapmatic at 4:11 AM on February 24, 2010

Best answer: The Sunlight Foundation "uses cutting-edge technology and ideas to make government transparent and accountable."

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is "dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials -- regardless of party affiliation -- who sacrifice the common good to special interests."
posted by cirripede at 5:17 AM on February 24, 2010

Best answer: Good Jobs First tracks government expenditures benefiting corporations as part of economic development initiatives to ensure that the companies fulfill whatever obligations accompanied the funds.
posted by carmicha at 7:01 AM on February 24, 2010

Best answer: The Project on Government Oversight is an independent nonprofit that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more effective, accountable, open and honest federal government
posted by amarynth at 8:48 AM on February 24, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks all!
posted by lucia__is__dada at 2:07 AM on February 25, 2010

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