Focus Issues

OTG calls on IG to ensure preservation and access to records on Comey firing

Washington, DC – Today, OpenTheGovernment called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General to take immediate action to ensure the preservation of and public access to records relating to the dismissal of former FBI Director James Comey. The factors surrounding the firing have called into question the integrity of the Justice Department’s investigation into matters relating to the 2016 election, and the Inspector General must take prompt measures to restore public confidence.

House Committee holds oversight hearing on FBI’s use of facial recognition technology

At today's House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the FBI’s use of facial recognition technology, serious secrecy and privacy concerns were raised about the collection, sharing and use of such biometrics data. Greater oversight and transparency, areas of serious concern for open government groups and civil rights advocates alike, are critical to ensuring the public’s right to know about the expanding collection and use of such data.

Senators call for FOIA compliance, full implementation of the 2016 FOIA reforms

In the spirit of Sunshine Week, and National Freedom of Information Day, Senators Feinstein, Leahy, Cornyn, and Grassley sent letters to the Trump Administration on March 15, 2017, calling for full compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and strong implementation of the 2016 FOIA reforms. The letters request information on the specific steps that are underway to carry out the reforms passed last year, and to improve proactive disclosure of information. 

Senators Urge White House to Comply with Presidential Records Act

On March 3, Senators Claire McCaskill and Tom Carper wrote to White House Counsel Donald McGahn, voicing their concern about reports of White House officials using personal electronic messaging accounts while conducting official business, and asking that he ensure that President Trump and his staff are complying with the Presidential Records Act (PRA).

Updated: OMB responds to coalition letter on stripping online government data

On February 13, a group of 69 public interest organizations dedicated to open and accountable government, free speech, civil rights, consumer protection, the environment, and other issues called on federal agencies to fulfill their legal requirement to provide the public with adequate notice before removing public information from government websites.