Friday, March 18, 2016

DOJ's Cognitive Dissonant 2016 Sunshine Week Celebration

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA -  This week, the Justice Department (DOJ) welcomed individuals from around the government and members of the public to the Great Hall of the Robert F. Kennedy building to kickoff Sunshine Week 2016. 

This year’s event included the presentation of the 2016 Sunshine Week FOIA Awards and the premier of a short video produced by the Justice Department in tribute to the FOIA’s 50th anniversary.

  • Making records available to “any person” rather than available to “persons properly and directly concerned,”
  • Setting out discrete categories of exempt information replacing vague standards that included “good cause found,” and
  • Providing for judicial review of government decisions to withhold requested information.

Serving as keynote speaker at this year’s event was the Acting Associate Attorney General Stuart Delery, who also serves as the Department’s Chief FOIA Officer. In his remarks, the Acting Associate Attorney General spoke about the history of the FOIA and how the law “made three important changes to the disclosure standards that previously had been included in the Administrative Procedure Act” including:

The Acting Associate Attorney General noted that upon its passage “the FOIA both empowered individuals to access governmental records and provided more specific direction and guidance to agencies.”
In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the FOIA’s passage, the Department of Justice debuted a special video tribute to this important' law. The video details the history of the law, how FOIA administration and processing has changed over the last 50 years, and how the FOIA has served as the foundation for the open government our founding fathers envisioned. 
Now for the bad news:  Unfortunately, there is widespread agreement throughout the political spectrum, that the Obama Administration by any objective measure has been the least transparent:  From the far left Huffinton Post's review of the AP study in the piece titled:   Obama Administration Has Gone To Unprecedented Lengths To Thwart Journalists, Report Finds,  to the Wall Street Journal's opinion piece:  The Least Transparent Administration.  How Team Obama stymies freedom of information requests. to the piece titled:  It Took a FOIA Lawsuit to Uncover How the Obama Administration Killed FOIA Reform

While there is nothing wrong with a celebration, it is better when the spirit of what is being celebrated matches reality, thus avoiding a clear case of cognitive dissonance 

1 comment:

JL "Buzz" Aguirre said...

Just in: Analysis finds Obana Administration loses record number of documents in FOIA requests