Center for Effective Government Welcomes Obama Administration's Announced Transparency Goals

10/31/2013

PRESS STATEMENT
-For Immediate Release-
October 31, 2013

Contact: Brian Gumm, bgumm@foreffectivegov.org, 202-683-4812

Center for Effective Government Welcomes Obama Administration's Announced Transparency Goals

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2013—Today, the Obama administration released a set of new commitments to strengthen transparency and openness in the federal government. The goals were announced in London at the summit of the global Open Government Partnership. The reform policies are intended to make public information more open and easily accessible to the American people.

Sean Moulton, Director of Open Government Policy at the Center for Effective Government, made the following statement:

The Obama administration's new transparency commitments will improve public access to important government information. The forthcoming U.S. National Action Plan includes commitments to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), improve information about government spending, and continue to progress on opening government data to use by the public.

The administration's plans to reform FOIA should make it easier and faster for the public to access information. We applaud the administration's commitment to develop a centralized website for submitting FOIA requests to any federal agency, to produce common FOIA regulations, and to improve agency FOIA processes and training.

The proposed improvements in USAspending.gov should also make data about government spending easier to find and use.

The Obama administration has indicated that today's announcements do not represent the full U.S. National Action Plan and that additional transparency commitments and details will be released in the coming weeks. We appreciate the administration's willingness to continue developing ambitious transparency reforms.

Access to public information is crucial to our democracy and the government's effectiveness. It allows Americans to actively engage in policymaking in a thoughtful, informed manner and to hold public officials accountable for decisions that impact us all.

The preview report of the second U.S. National Action Plan for the Open Government Partnership is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/preview_report_of_open_gov_national_action_plan.pdf.

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