The Campaign Spot

Obama’s Transparency Guidelines Reach Their Expiration Date

Without follow-up, presidential decrees mean nothing.

President Obama issued new guidelines on government transparency on his first full day of office, ordering agencies to “adopt a presumption in favor” of FOIA requests and laying the groundwork for the eventual release of reams of previously undisclosed government information on the Internet.
But less than a third of the 90 federal agencies that process requests for information have significantly changed their practices since that initial order, the report said.

Score one for the bureaucracy. During the last administration, when some federal agency screwed up, some argued that the messes proved that Republicans can’t govern because they don’t believe in a large, powerful, ever-growing federal government. Nope. Federal agencies screw up because they’re federal agencies, and many corners of that bureaucracy haven’t encountered anything resembling accountability in decades.

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