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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, August 22, 2008

An Interesting Symposium Article on Access...

This is a nice summation of the current law of access as it applies to environmental issues, and a call for reform...

A glance at the piece reveals some nice arguments:

Where does this leave us? In my view, there is now a significant and growing dissonance between the promises made by our federal right-to-know laws and their performance. Part of the problem, of course, is entrenched resistance by government officials (of both political parties) to giving the public the ability to stand over their shoulders while they do their jobs. People do not want to do their work in a fishbowl. Legislation cannot change human nature. Nor can legislation safeguard access-to-information laws from subversion by administrations hostile to the ideal of openness. But there is much that legislation could do to recalibrate the way our right-toknow laws work in practice. In my view, it is time to overhaul our nation's right-to-know laws in three important ways:First, right-to-know laws should place an affirmative duty on the government to make environmental information available to the public.

The article is here.

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