Transparency in the New Year: Open Government and Gridlock

Does transparency help or hurt the function of our government? In continuing work at the Brookings Institution, scholars engage this question as one fundamental to effective governance and our understanding of our own system. In a January 2 opinion piece in the Washington Post, Gary Bass, Danielle Brian and Norman Eisen take up the cause, arguing that smoke-filled, closed-door, behind-the-scenes government is not the answer.


Senator Jay Rockefeller singlehandedly kills Freedom of Information Act reform

The House unanimously passed a bill that would bring much-needed improvements to the Freedom of Information Act; the Senate had bi-partisan support for it, too — but outgoing Sen Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) singlehandedly killed the bill in a closed-door committee meeting.

He offered vague, bullshitty excuses for this, citing nonspecific issues with privacy that don't bear even cursory scrutiny.


FOIA Reform Bill Could Pass Senate

A bill reforming the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) could pass the Senate as early as Thursday, but at least one senator has placed a hold on the legislation.

The FOIA Improvement Act of 2014 has been “hotlined,” meaning it is being considered for placement on the Senate’s unanimous consent calendar, where it could be passed without a lengthy debate.


Primary Sources: How a New FOIA Bill Could Force More Government Transparency

The Senate Judiciary Committee released an amended version of a bill that would overhaul the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and force government agencies to be more transparent.

The legislation, which has bipartisan support and is backed by open government advocates, is co-sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy and Senator John Cornyn, the ranking Republican on the committee.