Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:20 PM
Lone_Star_Dem (28,158 posts)
Has Obama Kept His Open-Government Pledge?
After eight years of tightened access to government records under the Bush administration, open-government advocates were hopeful when Barack Obama promised greater transparency.
Four years later, did the president keep his promise?
"It's a mixed bag," said Patrice McDermott, executive director of OpenTheGovernment.org, a consortium of right-to-know groups. "I think they've made progress, but a whole lot more remains to be done."
The Obama administration set the bar high. In his first inaugural address, Obama said that "those of us who manage the public's dollars" will "do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government."
The next day, the president issued two memos. In one on the Freedom of Information Act, he wrote that FOIA "should be administered with a clear presumption: In the face of doubt, openness prevails."
A second memo addressed transparency: "My administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government." And that "openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in government."
But transparency was not defined in detail, said Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS). "People were left to imagine whatever they wanted to be the content of those statements. Inevitably, disappointment soon followed."
Read more at link: http://www.propublica.org/article/has-obama-kept-his-open-government-pledge
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