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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Three Articles Regarding the Obama Administration's Efforts Toward Transparency

During his campaign, Obama pledged to run the most transparent administration in history. Nextgov.com reports that open government advocates are criticizing the administration's efforts in fulfilling this campaign promise, saying the administration is placing too much emphasis on building websites rather than publishing information.

But, in a break with previous administrations, the Obama administration will release the names of visitors to the White House beginning in mid-September, reports USA Today.

The Secret Service will disclose electronic visitor logs, including the names of the visitors and who set up the meeting as well as where it was held and for how long within within three to four months of the visit. Information relating to cases of national security, extreme confidentiality or strictly personal visits to the first family would not be released.

"We will achieve our goal of making this administration the most open and transparent administration in history not only by opening the doors of the White House to more Americans, but by shining a light on the business conducted inside," Obama said. "Americans have a right to know whose voices are being heard in the policymaking process."

Archon Fung, a professor at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, offers his views on how the administration should go about fulfilling the campaign promise.

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