Editorial: Democrats, Republicans ignore US Freedom of Information Act

Democrats, Republicans ignore US Freedom of Information Act

Freedom of information is one of the cornerstones that separate the United States from many other countries in the world. Back in 1966 President Johnson signed into law the Freedom of Information Act to clarify and protect the right of the public to information, and for other purposes. Nearly 50 years later FOIA is just as important as it was back then, but today it seems to be met with more resistance.


Court mulls revealing secret government plan to cut cell phone service

A federal appeals court is asking the Obama administration to explain why the government should be allowed to keep secret its plan to shutter mobile phone service during "critical emergencies."

The Department of Homeland Security came up with the plan—known as Standing Operating Procedure 303—after cellular phones were used to detonate explosives targeting a London public transportation system.


Group files suit for IRS records

A government oversight group on Tuesday filed a motion in federal court to force the Obama administration to release thousands of records linked to the IRS’s targeting of conservative-leaning groups.

Cause of Action is seeking the enforcement of a prior court order requiring the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) to produce more than 2,500 documents.


Time for transparency in government

Congress is currently considering changes to improve the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and that’s a good thing. While the FOIA is very useful, it’s not a silver bullet, and it’s certainly time to consider improving the Act.

During the course of the Obama Administration, Americans for Limited Government has filed hundreds of FOIA requests going to every Executive Branch department and many of the independent agencies.


Opinion: Freedom of Information Act Protects the Public Interest

Bureaucratic stonewalling erects barriers to the public’s right to know. It also undermines our system of checks and balances and weakens the public’s trust in our institutions of government.

Let’s remember the genesis of our republic. The government works for the people, not the other way around. Foot-dragging subverts transparency and creates a credibility gap.


Obama Administration stonewalling FOAI request on releasing IRS docs

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has turned down an FOIA request from The Hill to release more than 500 pages of documents relating to the Tea Party targeting scandal at the IRS.

This is just the latest indication that the Obama administration is trying to "run out the clock" on the investigation so that current officials will be out of government by the time any useful information is released.


Congress falls short on bid to update Freedom of Information law despite bipartisan support

Advocates for greater openness in government were frustrated Friday after Congress failed to update the Freedom of Information Act despite bipartisan support in the House and Senate.

Without a new law, government agencies are likely to continue stonewalling requests for records and other information, said Amy Bennett, assistant director of OpenTheGovernment.org, an advocacy group.


Editorial: House must pass FOIA reforms today

Congress is quite adept at protecting its self-interest while ignoring the public’s interest, but this week offered a glimmer of hope that lawmakers still care about good governance and accountability. On Monday, the Senate unanimously passed the Freedom of Information Act Improvement Act, a bill critical to changing the federal government’s culture of resistance to openness.

The House must move quickly to pass the legislation before lawmakers head home for the holidays.