Agencies are Failing to Uphold Obama's Commitment to Transparency

December 5, 2012

On President Obama's very first full day as president in 2009, he issued a memorandum to the heads of federal agencies that said, in so many words, time to get serious about the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). "The Freedom of Information Act should be administered with a clear presumption: In the face of doubt, openness prevails," Obama declared. He continued, "All agencies should adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure, in order to renew their commitment to the principles embodied in FOIA, and to usher in a new era of open Government." Two months later, Attorney General Eric Holder issued new guidelines to agency heads, urging them to streamline their FOIA process and make more information available.

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