Opinion: Transparency in government a must

Since first taking office more than 30 years ago, Iíve held a firm belief that government should be conducted in an open and transparent manner. Government officials are rightly held to a higher standard of scrutiny and accountability, and that includes being truthful and forthcoming to the men and women theyíve been elected to serve.

A recent poll shows that just 13 percent of Americans agree that the government can be trusted to do what is right all or most of the time. At a time when faith in the federal government is at an all-time low, measures to repair some of that trust are as important as ever. I am cosponsoring legislation to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to bring additional transparency and accountability to the federal government.

Now nearing 50 years since being signed into law, FOIA grants the public access to previously unreleased material from the federal government. It is based on the principle that transparency promotes accountability. FOIA allows taxpayers, whose interests federal employees are tasked with representing, an opportunity to evaluate their efforts. Throughout the years, FOIA has been updated to meet changing information interests and systems. Our legislation would again provide much-needed updates. Continue>>>