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.More here.
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."
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.