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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Transparency and Sunshine Week

On Monday, Josh Hicks wrote at The Washington Post about  Sunshine Week.
In recent years, most agencies have not fully complied with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requirements.
This year’s reports show improvement in some areas, but still much to be desired by news organizations and open-government groups such as the Center for Effective Government and the National Security Archive.
An Associated Press analysis of federal data found that the Obama administration has grown more secretive over time, last year censoring or outright denying FOIA access to government files more than ever since Obama took office.
A separate report this week from the National Security Archives found that 54 percent of all agencies have ignored directives that Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder issued in 2009 calling for a “presumption of disclosure” with FOIA requests. The good news: That number is down from about 70 percent of agencies last year.

In a third analysis, the Center for Effective Government released its annual government-transparency report card on Monday, handing out failing grades to seven of the 15 agencies it reviewed. The scores are based on three metrics: processing requests for information, establishing rules for answering requests and creating user-friendly Web sites.