New OMB Watch Report Checks In On Obama Transparency

Today, as a part of Sunshine Week 2011, OMB Watch published an in-depth analysis of the Obama administration’s progress on the recommendations contained in the 21st Century Right to Know report the group gave them at the start of 2008.

The report details how the administration and Congress have made significant efforts on many of the report’s recommendations.  This demonstrates a strong commitment to openness and a dedication of government resources to address the many items.

The report also found that despite the progress made in many areas, we still have a long road ahead before we reach our goals of a truly open and accountable federal government.  Many good policies face hurdles of implementation and changing the secrecy oriented culture of government.

Among some of the key findings of the report are:

Strengths:

  • Strong and consistent leadership on government openness from White House and other high offices that conveys the importance of the issue
  • Strong utilization of e-government and Web 2.0 technologies, with concerted effort to engage the public
  • New executive order on controlled unclassified information improves transparency, predictability, and oversight, but implementation has not yet begun


Weaknesses:

  • New state secrets policy represents minor reform, and administration is continuing to use the privilege broadly to dismiss entire cases
  • No high-level effort to improve electronic records management and preservation government-wide
  • Implementation of improved FOIA policies has significantly lagged, and there has been only minor investment in new technologies to improve FOIA processing

Here is a PDF copy as well.21strtkrecsassessment

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