The Society of American Archivists (SAA) and OpenTheGovernment.org joined the National Coalition for History to urge the governor of Georgia to keep the state archives open. The Georgia Archives are currently slated to close on November 1st, unless funding issues caused by the state's fiscal strain are resolved.
There are a lot of distractions during election season. There are more and more gotcha ads, and increasingly less discussion about what really matters. At OpenTheGovernment.org, POGO, the American Society of News Editors (ASNE), and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) we spend a lot of time thinking about how our government can be more transparent, accountable, and effective. We'd love to be having conversations with every candidate to help educate them and to inform the work that we do in Washington---no matter the results of the election. Perhaps together we can!
On Friday, August 24, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) belatedly issued the Managing Government Records Directive. The Directive lays out the framework for how the federal government plans to make sure it is effectively and efficiently managing electronic records. There is much for the open government community to like in the Directive: a requirement that agencies designate a senior official to oversee records management and an emphasis on managing records in the cloud, for example. And there is one big thing for open government advocates to not like: deadlines that mean it will be many more years before we can say with any certainty that federal government agencies are not improperly destroying or otherwise losing records.
The May 1 release of a report by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), based on surveys agencies filled out about their record keeping practices, shows how much more work needs to be done before we can say with any certainty that the government is not at risk of losing potentially important records.
Why Did Rodriguez Get Away with Destroying the Torture Tapes – and What Happened to the Rule of Law?
Yesterday, Andrew Sullivan asked in his column in the Daily Beast, “Why Did Rodriguez Destroy The Torture Tapes?” It was good to see someone call out that aspect of Rodriguez’s – and the CIA’s – illegality. Sullivan’s is an important question that Rodriguez answered in the shallow, self-congratulatory manner exhibited in the rest of the disturbing CBS 60 Minutes interview. Sullivan’s response to Rodriguez’s claims is well worth a read.
A question that Sullivan does not ask, nor has any other journalist to our knowledge, is “Why did Rodriguez get away with destroying the torture tapes?” When OpenTheGovernment.org Executive Director Patrice McDermott received the 2011 James Madison Award from the American Library Association, she devoted her acceptance remarks to the outrage of Rodriguez’s destruction of the tapes – despite a court order to preserve them – and the unwillingness of the Justice Department to hold him accountable.
The May 1 release of an annual report by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), based on surveys agencies filled out about their record keeping practices, shows how much more work needs to be done before we can say with any certainty that the government is not at risk of losing potentially important records.
An analysis released in late December by CREW and OpenTheGovernment.org of data collected by the government on Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) processing reveals challenges the Obama Administration must overcome to create the "unprecedented level of openness" President Obama promised on his first day in office.
On December 6 Patrice McDermott, Director of OpenTheGovernment.org, appeared in a segment on CNN to discuss recent revelations regarding Mitt Romney's handling of records in his final days as Governor of Massachusetts.