OTG’s 2016 in Review – Year-End Report

In 2016, OpenTheGovernment.org (OTG) worked to defend and strengthen open and accountable government, combat attempts to increase government secrecy, provide information to the public about their right to know, the need for open government reform, and much more. We know the public can provide oversight and seek redress only when it is aware of what its government is doing.

Among the 2016 highlights, as described below, OTG:

  • Worked to protect and strengthen the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) – helping to shape the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, and building momentum to get the bill to the President’s desk and signed into law in June.  
  • Fought for the preservation and release of the Senate torture report, calling on the Archivist of the United States to declare the report a federal record. In December, the White House announced that its copy of the report would be preserved under the Presidential Records Act.
  • Engaged the openness community in the fight for more open and accountable law enforcement, and worked with immigrant rights groups to highlight the need for more oversight and transparency in the immigration detention system.
  • Worked to raise the visibility of FOIA and other critically important open government issues through editorials, analysis, and public events, as well as a set of open government questions for 2016 candidates for federal office.
  • Pushed back against excessive secrecy in Congress and the Executive Branch, including advocating for reforms to the classification system and greater transparency around surveillance programs.
  • Coordinated coalition recommendations for the United States Trade Representative 2016 open government plan, and worked with Representative Debbie Dingell’s office to incorporate the recommendations into the Promoting Transparency in Trade Act.

Read the full report here.