Policy and News Updates for January 18, 2005


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Policy Updates



[new]Office Purge at Whistleblower Protection Office?
Three whistleblower protection groups objected when U.S. Special Counsel Scott Bloch forced 12 employees to choose between moving to regional offices or losing their jobs.
Source: Project On Government Oversight (POGO)
Action: Object to forced transfers through the POGO alert.




[updated]Scientific Research: NIH to Announce Modified Open Access Policy
A proposal from the National Institutes of Health would require all published scientific articles based on taxpayer-funded research to be publicly available for free after one year, not after six months as originally proposed, The Washington Post reports. Currently, scientific journals publish the studies, which can only be accessed by subscriptions or through an academic institution that has its own subscription.
Status: The public comment period for the proposal closed Nov. 16, 2004. The final plan to be announced soon.
Source: Alliance for Taxpayer Access, The Washington Post, National Institutes of Health
Action: Ways you can foster scientific openness (from Peter Suber).


**For other policies that OpenTheGovernment.org is watching, please visit our compendium.


The Spotlight Stories in OpenTheGovernment.org’s Press Room highlight the human impact of open government and government secrecy through stories from communities all over the country. Read the stories about how open government makes a safer and more accountable society, or submit your own story.



News Highlights



Looking for authors! The Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service distributes op-ed opinion pieces on any topic related to freedom of information. Pieces related in some way to the Freedom of Information Act are especially welcome. The op-eds may be published freely as long as the author is credited. To view the latest op-ed as well as all pieces in the series, go to Knight Ridder/Tribune. Pieces should be 700 words in length and sent as part of the email message (without attachments) to Ray Walker at rwalker@krtinfo.com and oped@krtinfo.com. Please also let us know if you submit a piece!


Recent pieces:

  • Martin Halstuk unravels the secrecy around the intelligence budget.
  • Charles Lewis reminds us that today’s secrecy requires courage.


Critics: Changes to open records could make NJ too restrictive
[Associated Press via Newsday Jan. 17]


GPO Tightens Policy on Information Withdrawal
[Secrecy News Jan. 14]


New Vindication for FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds
[Common Dreams Jan. 14]


State officials argue for keeping details of execution secret
[Associated Press via Newsday Jan. 14]


Defying Pentagon Ban, La. Guard Unit Allows Footage of Returning Coffins
[Editor & Publisher Jan. 13]


DHS: No More Non-Disclosure Agreements For Unclassified
[Secrecy News Jan. 12]


Dad testifies in favor of ‘right to know’ bill
[The Missoulian Jan. 11]


Past Updates…