Press Releases

2011 Secrecy Report Released: Administration’s Openness Agenda Shows Some Positive Results, National Security Bureaucracy Hinders Change

This morning OpenTheGovernment.org released the 2011 Secrecy Report (formerly known as the Secrecy Report Card), a quantitative report on indicators of government secrecy. This year's report chronicles positive changes in some indicators of secrecy as a result of the Obama Administration’s openness directives. The indicators tracked by the report also show a national security bureaucracy that continues to expand the size of the secret government.

Openness Groups Denounce House Republican Leadership Decision to Erase Progress on Bipartisan FOIA Legislation

Press Release Contact: Amy Bennett or Patrice McDermott, OpenTheGovernment.org, 202-332-6736

Openness Groups Denounce House Republican Leadership Decision to Erase Progress on Bipartisan FOIA Legislation  

July 26, 2011 - Organizations that support openness and accountability were shocked and saddened to learn that House Republican leadership plans to wipe out bipartisan progress on Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) legislation in the interest of pushing its budget package.

OpenTheGovernment.org Welcomes Decision to Drop Prosecution of Illegal Wiretapping Whistleblower

OpenTheGovernment.org applauds the Obama Administration and the Department of Justice (DOJ) long overdue decision to drop the investigation of Thomas Tamm. In a meeting with President Obama on April 4, 2011, members of the OpenTheGovernment.org Steering Committee raised concerns about the prosecution of national security whistleblowers like Mr. Tamm, a former DOJ lawyer who revealed the existence of the US government’s illegal wiretapping program.

Open Government Advocates Welcome New Limits on Information Markings

Washington, DC, November 4, 2010 - Organizations working on government openness and accountability welcome the release of the Executive Order on Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). The Order rescinds the Bush Administration CUI memorandum, which was intended to create "a tiered system of designations and establish a framework for designating, marking, safeguarding, and disseminating designated information." Instead, the Order simply standardizes and limits the use of control markings on unclassified information.

Report: Secrecy Ebbs From Bush Administration High Water Marks, Backlogs in Declassification System

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7, 2010 - The 2010 Secrecy Report Card released today by OpenTheGovernment.org - a coalition of more than 70 groups advocating for open government - chronicles a continued decrease in most indicators of secrecy since the end of the Bush Administration and growing backlogs in the declassification system as old secrets move through the system. The report covers the first 9 months of President Obama's Administration, which he pledged would be the most open, transparent and accountable in history.

Revised Plans Raise the Bar on Open Government: Agencies Respond to Feedback

Washington, DC - An updated ranking of agencies' Open Government Plans compiled during an independent audit reveals that 10 agencies joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the list of strongest plans, due to new plan versions created since the initial releases on April 7. The updated plans also decrease the wide variation in the strength of plans noted earlier this year. The response by so many agencies is very encouraging and truly in the spirit of the Open Government Directive.

Most Agencies Improve Open Government Plans Before Deadline

Washington, DC, June 28, 2010 - Twenty-two of 39 federal agencies responded to the call from OpenTheGovernment.org to issue revised Open Government Plans by last Friday's deadline. OpenTheGovernment.org will work with volunteers to re-evaluate the strength of the plans, and provide feedback on the changes. The organization will release updated findings in July.

Open Government Advocates Seek Input on Revision to Classification Policy

WASHINGTON, August 2, 2009 - This past weekend, 21 public advocacy organizations and individuals delivered a letter to General James L. Jones, the President's National Security Advisor, requesting that the public be given an opportunity to provide comment on the actual language of the proposed revisions to the Executive Order on national security classification prior to their finalization.

Audit Reveals Wide Variation in Agency Plans to Make Government More Open

Washington, DC, April 29, 2010-A ranking of agencies' Open Government Plans compiled during an independent audit reveals the strongest and weakest agency plans, with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at the top of the list and the Department of Justice (DOJ) at the bottom. With a few notable exceptions, agencies that have a history of being transparent, participatory, and collaborative produced stronger plans than agencies that are historically secretive. Strikingly, the audit also found that several agencies that are supposed to lead by example on the government openness front failed to do so in their Open Government Plans.