Study: Agencies Fulfill Obama's Transparency Vow Just Half of Time

Monday, 14 Mar 2011 10:11 AM

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About half of the federal agencies have been able to meet President Barack Obama’s promise to improve government transparency and handling of Freedom of Information requests. Of the 90 federal agencies handling FOIA requests, 49 were able to comply with requests made in a study by the National Security Archive at George Washington University and the Knight Foundation, The Washington Post reports.

government, transparency, 50, percentOther agencies gave varying levels of response to the test FOIA requests, ranging from partial compliance to never acknowledging the request. A similar survey last year showed just 13 of the agencies complying, the Post said.

National Security Archive Director Thomas Blanton said, “At this rate, it’ll be at the end of his term before the agencies do what Obama asked them to do on the first day.”

On Obama's first full day in office, he ordered the government to “adopt a presumption in favor” of FOIA requests, according to the Post.

The administration is launching a new website this week, FOIA.gov, to instruct the public on how to request information. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has been investigating how the Obama administration handles FOIA requests, the Post said.


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