Obama: Government should be transparent
Submitted by Howard Owens on January 21, 2009 - 8:54pm
Today, President Barack Obama made this statement:
Government should be transparent. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing. Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use. Executive departments and agencies should harness new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online and readily available to the public. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public feedback to identify information of greatest use to the public.
On the same subject, the Washington Post reports:
The Government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears," Obama said in the FOIA memo, adding later that "In responding to requests under the FOIA, executive branch agencies (agencies) should act promptly and in a spirit of cooperation, recognizing that such agencies are servants of the public."
His memo on government transparency states that the Obama Administration "will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government."
Follow the Post link for full text of President Obama's message.
The need for government transparency isn't just a federal thing. It applies to local government as well. You know, governments like, oh, the City of Batavia.
Whenever a government agency fails to answer timely requests for information, to not ensure all relevant media receives ready and easy access to information, to stymie full disclosure of information by prohibiting government employees from speaking publicly about issues that effect taxpayers, then it isn't really serving citizens to its highest and best ability.