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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.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Smithsonian likely to become more transparent though not subject to FOIA

Trying to establish public trust after his predecessor's scandals, Secretary G. Wayne Clough, chief executive of the Smithsonian pledges to move the museum's policies closer to those of the FOIA. However, he opposes legislation that would end the museum's FOIA exemption, saying the new policy will include an appeals process for those denied access to Smithsonian records.
The Smithsonian Institution should become more open and transparent, but also needs to maintain exceptions to the federal Freedom of Information Act, Secretary G. Wayne Clough said Wednesday after two months as chief executive of the museum complex.

Clough told The Associated Press he opposes an effort in Congress to place the Smithsonian under the government's public records law because the museums on the National Mall will have to look beyond the government to pay for programs in the future. Taxpayer money currently covers about 70 percent of the Smithsonian's $1 billion budget.

"If the Smithsonian is going to be called upon to do its business in a different way in the future, which we are being asked to do, we're going to have to raise private funds," Clough said. "We're trying to model our policy as close to FOIA as we can with some narrowly cast exceptions."
More here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ordinarily one would not think the Smithsonian scientists and staff would not engage in shady behavior. But we were nearly led into a trap by certain scientists several times. One scientist was making all sorts of claims about a Smithsonian planetary scientist and when we asked the Smithsonian to verify these claims for us they refused to respond. I issued and FOI request from the fraudulent Smithsonian scientist and instructed their Counsel, "if you don't give me the information I am seeking we're going to Court. It didn't take long for them to respond and my suspicions were correct and verified by a scientist at NASA. There is lots of scientific misconduct going on fueled by greedy, racist, fraudulent behavior.