Federal Eye: Is Obama’s government open enough?

Happy Monday! The Obama administration’s first year of efforts to improve access to government information have yielded mixed results,
according to an audit of freedom of information act requests set for
release on Monday. The report also found that the oldest FOIA requests
date back to 1992.

The report by the National Security Archive at George Washington University comes at the start of Sunshine Week, the annual effort by good government groups and news organizations to promote better access to government information.

President Obama issued new guidelines on government transparency on his first full day of office, ordering agencies to “adopt a presumption in favor” and laying the
groundwork for the eventual release of reams of previously undisclosed
government information on the Internet.

But less than a third of the 90 federal agencies that process requests for information have made significant changes in their
practices since Obama’s initial orders, the report said. The
departments of Agriculture, Justice, the Office of Management and Budget and the Small Business Administration
earned especially high marks for either completely or partially
fulfilling more requests and denying fewer of them during fiscal 2009.
The departments of State, Transportation, Treasury, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission have fulfilled noticeably fewer requests and denied more of them in the same time period.

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