Indian Affairs FOIA Exemption

Section 7 of S. 297, the Federal Acknowledgment Process Reform Act of 2003 exempts certain actions by the Interior Department's Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Several groups and individuals voiced objections to a Senate Bureau of Indian Affairs reform bill, in a letter delivered to Sens. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-CO) and Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI) July 8.

DHS Environmental Procedures Promote Secrecy

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is looking to hide Environmental Impact Statements (EIS), partially or in whole, from public disclosure. A June 14 directive published in the Federal Register would exempt the agency from a number of requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The directive applies to all agencies within DHS including the Transportation Security Administration, Energy Security and Assurance Program, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Coast Guard.

Policy and News Updates for August 31, 2004

While the pre-Labor Day pace slows, take this opportunity to discover OpenTheGovernment.org's Resource Center, which contains information on policy issues, advice and strategies on becoming an advocate, and other great tools. Also, please forward this email on and encourage people to sign-up at our website! As always, let us know how we can improve the updates and any omissions.

 

'Report Card' Finds 60% Rise in Secrecy at a Rising Cost of 6.5 Billion Last Year

CONTACT: Patrice McDermott 202-332-6736
View the 2004 Secrecy Report Card.

Government data confirm what many have suspected: secrecy has increased dramatically in recent years under policies of the current administration. For every the federal government spent last year releasing old secrets, it spent an extraordinary $120 maintaining the secrets already on the books, according to an analysis by OpenTheGovernment.org.

"Secrecy Report Card: Quantitative Indicators of Secrecy in the Federal Government," is an initial effort to establish measurable benchmarks for evaluating the level of secrecy in government. The study was released Aug. 26 by OpenTheGovernment.org, a coalition of more than 30 organizations calling for more democracy and less secrecy in government.

Policy and News Updates for August 24, 2004

Policy Updates

 

(New information is highlighted with [new] or [updated] in the title) NOTE: Beginning with this week's updates, we're altering the format to (1) better clarify where your actions could have an immediate impact, (2) better warn you of issues that may require action in the near future, and (3) better keep you informed of other issues that may help or hinder your ability to keep government open and accountable.

Policy and News Updates for August 17, 2004

Policy Updates

 

(New information is highlighted with [new] or [updated] in the title) NOTE: Beginning with this week's updates, we're altering the format to (1) better clarify where your actions could have an immediate impact, (2) better warn you of issues that may require action in the near future, and (3) better keep you informed of other issues that may help or hinder your ability to keep government open and accountable.