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Author Topic: Federal workshop on openness closed to the public  (Read 998 times)
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JohnBrowdie
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« on: December 07, 2009, 09:12:55 AM »

ironic story of the day.  I suppose the translation is, "we are open and transparent, but it's none of your business how we go about being open and transparent".

Quote
Federal workshop on openness closed to the public

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is conducting a workshop on government openness for federal employees behind closed doors Monday, a private training session for freedom-of-information officials to learn about a new U.S. office that settle disputes between the bureaucracy and the public.

The decision to preclude the public and the media from attending Monday's openness workshop left advocates scratching their heads, given President Barack Obama's campaign promise to make his administration the most transparent ever.

"If they're getting marching orders, why shouldn't the public be there?" said Jeff Stachewicz, founder of Washington-based FOIA Group Inc., which files hundreds of requests every month across the government on behalf of companies, law firms and news organizations.

The workshop was organized by the Justice Department's Office of Information Policy for agency public liaisons, who serve as ombudsmen and who "play a vital role in the administration of the FOIA at each agency," the government said. It was to set procedures for them to work with the new U.S. Office of Government Information Services, set up to resolve disputes over information requests between citizens and the government.

"We'd like to know, when they're training agencies, are they telling them the same thing they're saying in public, that they're committed to making the Freedom of Information Act work well and make sure that agencies are releasing information whenever possible while protecting important issues like individual privacy and national security," said Rick Blum, coordinator of the Sunshine in Government Initiative, of which The Associated Press is a member.

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