Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Austin isn't alone

Open government, open records, and gaining access is not just a problem here in Austin. The federal government is having problems with access as well.

Two of our Texas legislators are working to improve access at the federal level. U.S. Representative Lamar Smith and Senator John Cornyn are sponsoring the Openness Promotes Effectiveness in our National Government Act of 2005, or the OPEN Government Act. This act will increase the effectiveness of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to get information out of the federal government. In today's Statesman, Rep. Smith explained that FOIA “performs a vital check on the federal government ... [and] protects our open system of government and ensures that the government responds to the American people.” Rep. Smith and Sen. Cornyn designed the OPEN Government Act to “give the public more access to information and more insight into the workings of government.”

Sounds to me if you just substitute “Open Government Online Amendment” for FOIA that the two pieces of legislation have the exact same rationale.


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