Improving Access

New report reveals growing government secrecy in immigration enforcement

A new report from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) reveals that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is increasingly concealing information that was previously released to the public in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The report describes efforts by ICE to block access to information on immigration enforcement cooperation between federal and non-federal law enforcement agencies, exposing possible violations of the agency’s FOIA obligations.

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. 

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. 

Reports of Information Removed from Government Websites

Since the Trump Administration took office, reports of information going missing from government websites have caused confusion and worry. Volunteers from government and civil society have been working to preserve as much online government data as possible, with groups like the End Of Term Harvest and DataRefuge bringing archivists and hackers together to harvest data and other information from government websites.  

Coalition praises removal of harmful FOIA exemptions from final NDAA legislation

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.