Monday, April 30, 2007

Improving Access to Government Records reports this morning that Google is partnering with states to make government records more easily searchable online. Arizona, California, Utah, and Virginia have already accepted Google’s help.

This is great news. Google’s plan is limited to improving access to already-existing government databases, but this is a laudable step forward in making government more transparent. These partnerships will allow web users to harness the power of Google’s search engine to find information about the activity of lawmakers.

We would love to see the New York State Legislature form a similar partnership to overhaul their antiquated bill search. This option is also something for Attorney General Cuomo’s staff to keep in mind when they are implementing Project Sunlight—enhanced search capabilities would make the proposed campaign finance and lobbying database even more valuable to the public. In case any of our readers work in New York government, you can find out more about what Google can offer public sector entities here.

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