The next president has the chance to make his administration the most transparent in history. In our agenda for the next president
, we have urged the next administration to reach for this goal. The public has the right to know much of the information collected, disseminated and maintained by the government, but currently there is a presumption to withhold that information. In order to increase accountability, public awareness, and citizen participation the next administration must reverse the trend to withhold information.
The Internet is an ideal tool to increase access to information. Citizens can use it to interact with government agencies, find important documents, and keep tabs on their elected officials. The E-Government Act of 2002 made key government information available on the Internet, and encouraged federal agencies to continue making information available as they maintained a presence on the Internet. Unfortunately, some agencies are not as adept at using these digital tools; that circumstance actually means a great deal of progress that can be made by the next president to encourage the openness and transparency of the federal government.
Lead an administration dedicated to transparency and accountability
Both campaigns have promised more open and accountable government. The next administration has a chance to reverse the troubling movement towards secrecy and concealment of otherwise public information. One of the most important tools in obtaining government information, both for journalists and others, is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. FOIA requests allow citizens to ask the government for information.
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