OpenTheGovernment is concerned that the transcript of President Trump’s May 10 conversation with Russian officials is at risk, and is calling on the White House to immediately make available a copy of the full record of the meeting to the congressional Intelligence Committees.
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.
Senate misses opportunity to demand greater transparency from Justice Department nominee on “secret law”
WASHINGTON, May 12, 2017 – On May 10th, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the confirmation of Steven A. Engel to oversee the Office of Legal Counsel -- an office in charge of reviewing potential executive branch actions and whether they violate the law.
WASHINGTON, January 4, 2017 – Today, a coalition of organizations committed to promoting open and accountable government are calling on Senate leadership to demonstrate the commitment of the 115th Congress to conduct public business in full view of the public.
WASHINGTON, November 30, 2016 – In a major win for government openness and accountability, Congress has removed three harmful exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) from the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2017. The FOIA exemptions would have severely undermined the FOIA by creating an unnecessary secrecy provision and a carve-out from the FOIA for the Pentagon.
Coalition calls for President Obama to take urgent action on national security transparency and accountability
WASHINGTON, November 21, 2016 – Today, a coalition of organizations committed to promoting government openness and accountability, and to the defense of civil liberties, civil rights, and privacy rights, is calling on President Obama to take urgent steps to disclose information related to critical areas of national security-related secrecy before the end of his term.
June 30, 2016 – Today, the President signed the FOIA Improvement Act, codifying into law comprehensive bipartisan reforms to the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for the first time in nearly a decade. The signing of the bill comes days before the 50th anniversary of the FOIA, signed into law on July 4, 1966. The FOIA Improvement Act is the result of a herculean effort on the part of Congressional leaders, staff members, and open government advocates who have been working to push the FOIA reform legislation that is critical to ensuring government accountability.
Importantly, the reform bill codifies the presumption of openness -- requiring records be released unless there is a foreseeable harm or legal requirement to withhold them. This language mirrors the Obama Administration’s and the Department of Justice’s 2009 guidance on FOIA, which reversed the policy of the Bush administration that had encouraged agencies to limit discretionary disclosures of information. With these legislative changes, the law makes clear that FOIA, under any administration, must be approached with a presumption of openness.
WASHINGTON, April 7, 2016 – Today, more than 30 organizations committed to government openness, personal privacy, civil liberties and human rights, are calling for the halt to proposed policy changes that could allow domestic law enforcement and intelligence agencies to circumvent constitutional protections and pose new threats to the privacy and civil liberties of ordinary Americans.
WASHINGTON, March 16, 2016 – Today, more than 40 organizations and individuals committed to government openness and accountability sent a letter to President Obama expressing deep concern over the efforts by the Justice Department to undermine legislation in the last Congress that would have strengthened the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).