Press Releases

Secrecy Report Card 2006: Report Finds Federal Government Still More Secretive

Contact: Emily Feldman or Patrice McDermott, 202-332-6736
View the Secrecy Report Card

Government secrecy saw further expansion last year despite growing public concern, according to a report released today by a coalition of open government advocates. The Secrecy Report Card, produced annually by OpenTheGovernment.org in order to identify trends in public access to information, found a troubling lack of transparency in military procurement, new private inventions, and the scientific and technical advice that the government receives, among other areas.

Agency Responses to President's Call for FOIA Improvement Do Not Disclose Much, Report Shows

Contact: Patrice McDermott, 202-332-6736
View the report
July 3, 2006

In recognition of the 40th anniversary of FOIA, members and staff of OpenTheGovernment.org, the Sunshine in Government Initiative (SGI), Coalition of Journalists for Open Government (CJOG), National Security Archive, and other friends of openness in government undertook a collaborative look at a sample of the plans submitted by federal agencies in response to E.O. 13392, "Improving Agency Disclosure of Information," issued on December 14, 2005.

Post Katrina-Related Contracts Online, Groups Tell Bush

December 15, 2005 --
Contact: Emily Feldman, 202-332-6736
View the letter

More than 50 organizations, including civil liberties, media, library, and environmental groups, sent a letter to President Bush urging the White House to post all spending documents related to Hurricane Katrina relief and reconstruction spending on the Internet.

Secrecy Report Card 2005: Government Secrecy Grows, Few Controls

September 1, 2005 --
Contact: Patrice McDermott, 202-332-6736
View the Secrecy Report Card 2005
See Representative Shays' statement

 

Government agencies are expanding secrecy in many areas, according to the findings of a report released today. The 2005 Secrecy Report Card, the second annual report on secrecy from OpenTheGovernment.org, found secrecy in 2004 extended to more classified activity, more federal advisory meetings, more new patents deemed "secret," more domestic surveillance, and more new state laws restricting public access to information.

MEDIA ALERT: Media Call for Release of 2005 Secrecy Report Card

OpenTheGovernment.org will hold a conference call for reporters and editorial board members for the release of its second annual Secrecy Report Card on Thursday, Sep. 1, 2005 at 12:30ET. This year's report card features an encyclopedia of government restrictions on "sensitive but unclassified" information, plus all-new reporting on "patent secrecy orders," state-level legislation, and closed advisory committee meetings. Examined alongside updated figures on classification, whistleblowers, and information requests under the Freedom of Information Act, these findings point to unprecedented levels of government secrecy.

The Federal Government Keeps More Secrets for Longer, New Data Shows

The federal government set a new record for keeping secrets in 2004, during which government employees chose to classify information a record 15.6 million times, according to new government figures released this week and highlighted today in an update to OpenTheGovernment.org's Secrecy Report Card.

'Report Card' Finds 60% Rise in Secrecy at a Rising Cost of 6.5 Billion Last Year

CONTACT: Patrice McDermott 202-332-6736
View the 2004 Secrecy Report Card.

Government data confirm what many have suspected: secrecy has increased dramatically in recent years under policies of the current administration. For every the federal government spent last year releasing old secrets, it spent an extraordinary $120 maintaining the secrets already on the books, according to an analysis by OpenTheGovernment.org.

"Secrecy Report Card: Quantitative Indicators of Secrecy in the Federal Government," is an initial effort to establish measurable benchmarks for evaluating the level of secrecy in government. The study was released Aug. 26 by OpenTheGovernment.org, a coalition of more than 30 organizations calling for more democracy and less secrecy in government.

Government Classifies Too Much Information, Congress Must Act, Groups Say

The nation's secrecy system is broken and needs overhaul, twenty groups noted in a letter to intelligence committees in the House and Senate today. Initial secrecy about Abu Ghraib prisoner abuses and federal agency efforts to classify key sections of reports about Iraq and 9/11 failures show the national security secrecy system needs reform, the letter says. In the letter, the groups urge two basic changes. First, Congress should create an oversight board that could settle disputes about whether information should be classified. Second, Congress should establish a national classification center to guide and oversee agency decisions to stamp documents as classified. (See also PDF versions of the letter to the and .)

'Ten Most Wanted' List Highlights Government Secrecy

News Conference 2 pm Thurs. April 15 National Press Club, Zenger Room Embargoed for release 2 p.m. Thurs. April 15 Contact: Rick Blum, 202-234-8494 x238 Washington, D.C., April 15, 2004-A new coalition advocating less secrecy and more openness in government opened its own doors Thursday with the release of its survey report, “Ten Most Wanted Documents for 2004.”