WASHINGTON, October 1, 2013 – Today’s release of the 2013 Secrecy Report, the 9th annual review and analysis of indicators of secrecy in the federal government by OpenTheGovernment.org, comes amid shocking revelations that cast doubt on the accuracy and the meaningfulness of the government’s statistics about surveillance. As is highlighted in the introduction to this report and in comments provided to OpenTheGovernment.org by former-Representative Mickey Edwards (R-OK), the government’s insistence on keeping interpretations of the law secret and a lack of oversight by Congress and the Judicial Branch helped set the stage for a surveillance program that is much broader than previously believed.
In late January, OpenTheGovernment.org will release a report on whether and how well the Obama Administration has carried out the National Action Plan (Plan) it submitted as a part of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). For those of you who don't know, the Open Government Partnership is an international effort to make governments more transparent and collaborative. Nations that join the Partnership must, among other things, collaborate with civil society organizations to develop a National Action Plan with concrete commitments. In the vein of encouraging and rewarding collaboration, the evaluation released in January will look at not only whether the government completed the letter of its commitment, but also the extent to which it collaborated with civil society organizations and acted on our recommendations.
To mark the anniversary of the release of the Open Government Partnership US National Action Plan, OpenTheGovernment.org and a team of organizations released a progress report on the steps the Administration’s implementation of the report.