The Sunlight Foundation will soon begin asking individuals and organizational representatives to serve on its Advisory Committee on Transparency. Last April, we announced the committees creation and requested your ideas, comments, and expressions of interest. At the time, we explained that it is an informal body that will support the Congressional Transparency Caucus mission of promoting government transparency. Shortly afterward, we launched a website with some basic information about the committee. And late last week, we announced our intention to further define members roles and explain the process for becoming involved in more detail. Thats where we are now.

First, you should understand that the Advisory Committee is really an informal body. Its members will play a number of roles. At their core, members will serve as a repository of expert resources for the Congressional Transparency Caucus itself. They will be invited to attend relevant Advisory Committee events to help foster debate and share their expertise. And they will help shape the role of the Advisory Committee by sharing ideas for future development with us here at Sunlight who will be guiding the committee. Well make a list of members publicly available at transparencycaucus.org.

Although the committee will work on important and timely issues, it is not intended to directly advocate on its own behalf — or on behalf of individual members agendas — regarding particular legislation. The Sunlight Foundation will shepherd the development of the Advisory Committees role, membership, and structure. We will not do so alone — we expect all the topics will be the subject of ongoing conversations via Google group or some such vehicle.

In composing the Advisory Committee, Sunlight will select individuals and organizations to ensure that the committees composition is bipartisan, reflects diverse political viewpoints, includes broad-based expertise, agrees with its mission, has relevance to current issues, and altogether form a coherent group. We hope to initially identify a group of one to two dozen members. We will expand it as new issues are explored.

Individuals and organizations with questions or an interest in helping out identify who should be on the committee should email me at ACT(at)SunlightFoundation.com. We will make decisions based on the criteria mentioned above on a rolling basis. I am looking forward to hearing from you.

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