Open government advocates will be heartened to know that one of President Obama’s first actions during his first full day on the job was a memo to the Executive Branch regarding the federal Freedom of Information Act.
Among other things, Obama said:
The Freedom of Information Act should be administered with a
clear presumption: In the face of doubt, openness prevails.
The Government should not keep information confidential merely
because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure,
because errors and failures might be revealed, or because
of speculative or abstract fears.
He goes on to say that “all agencies should adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure.”
The tech-heads out there might find this interesting, too:
The presumption of disclosure also means that agencies should
take affirmative steps to make information public. They should
not wait for specific requests from the public. All agencies
should use modern technology to inform citizens about what is
known and done by their Government. Disclosure should be timely.
You can read the full text of the memo here. (PDF link)
Written by Paul Monies