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Half of Federal Agencies Still Use Outdated Freedom of Information Regulations

March 18, 2014 Comments off

Half of Federal Agencies Still Use Outdated Freedom of Information Regulations
Source: National Security Archive

Nearly half (50 out of 101) of all federal agencies have still not updated their Freedom of Information Act regulations to comply with Congress’s 2007 FOIA amendments, and even more agencies (55 of 101) have FOIA regulations that predate and ignore President Obama’s and Attorney General Holder’s 2009 guidance for a “presumption of disclosure,” according to the new National Security Archive FOIA Audit released today to mark Sunshine Week.

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Complete Pentagon Papers At Last! All Three Versions Posted, Allowing Side-by-Side Comparison

September 19, 2011 Comments off

Complete Pentagon Papers At Last! All Three Versions Posted, Allowing Side-by-Side Comparison
Source: National Security Archive

For the first time ever, all three major editions of the Pentagon Papers are being made available simultaneously online. The posting today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org), allows for a unique side-by-side comparison, showing readers exactly what the U.S. government tried to hide for 40 years by means of deletions from the original text.

To make the most of this new resource, the Archive is unveiling a special contest inviting readers to make their own nominations for the infamous “11 words” that some officials tried to keep secret even this year!

Today’s posting includes the full texts of the “Gravel” edition entered into Congressional proceedings in 1971 by Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska) and later published by the Beacon Press, the authorized 1971 declassified version issued by the House Armed Services Committee with deletions insisted on by the Nixon administration, and the new 2011 “complete” edition released in June by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

Accompanying the posting is the National Security Archive’s invitation for readers to identify their own favorite nominees for the “11 words” that securocrats attempted to delete during the declassification process for the Papers earlier this year, until alert NARA staffers realized those words actually had been declassified back in 1971.  Best submissions for the “11 words” — as judged by National Security Archive experts — will appear in the Archive’s blog, Unredacted, and on the Archive’s Facebook page.  National Security Archive senior fellow John Prados wrote the introduction and analysis for the posting. Archive analyst Carlos Osorio coordinated the data processing for publication. Archive staff Wendy Valdes and Charlotte Karrlsson-Willis did the input, indexing and cross-referencing, and the Archive’s webmaster Michael Evans managed the online publication of the Pentagon Papers.

Glass Half Full: 2011 Knight Open Government Survey Finds Freedom of Information Change, But Many Federal Agencies Lag in Fulfilling President Obama’s Day One Openness Pledge

March 14, 2011 Comments off

Glass Half Full: 2011 Knight Open Government Survey Finds Freedom of Information Change, But Many Federal Agencies Lag in Fulfilling President Obama’s Day One Openness Pledge
Source: National Security Archive

The Obama administration is only about halfway toward its promise of improving Freedom of Information responsiveness among federal agencies, according to the new Knight Open Government Survey by the National Security Archive, released today for Sunshine Week at www.nsarchive.org.

On his first day in office, January 21, 2009, President Obama issued a presidential memorandum instructing federal agencies to “usher in a new era of open government.” In March 2010, however, the 2010 Knight Open Government Survey found that only 13 out of 90 agencies had actually made concrete changes in their FOIA procedures.  The resulting national headlines sparked a new White House call to all agencies to show concrete change.

This year, the 2011 Knight Open Government Survey found that a few more than half of the federal agencies have complied–up from 13 to 49.  (A chart of the agencies’ responses is below.)

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