ASNE joins written testimony dedicated to transparency
- By: ASNE staff
- On: 03/11/2015 09:39:28
- In: FOI
In the testimony, we reiterate the need for certain key changes to FOIA encompassed in the pending House Bill, HR 653.
On Feb. 27, the Subcommittee on Government Operations of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the subcommittee with jurisdiction over the federal Freedom of Information Act, held a hearing entitled "Ensuring Government Transparency Through FOIA Reform."
In addition to being represented by Rick Blum, who testified in his position as the coordinator of the Sunshine in Government Initiative (of which ASNE is a member), we also joined nine other organizations dedicated to transparency in submitting written testimony that will be part of the formal record.
In the testimony, we reiterate the need for certain key changes to FOIA encompassed in the pending House Bill, HR 653. These include: 1. the need to codify the "foreseeable harm" standard that allows an agency to withhold information only if it can identify a specific harm that would ensue from its release, even where an exemption technically applies; 2. the need for a "FOIA Portal" to make it easier to file and track requests, and ultimately receive records; and 3. greater obligation on the government to engage in the "proactive" disclosure of information without the need for a request, where that information has already been released to the public.