The National Coalition Against Censorship joined a coalition of over 40 organizations calling on President Biden to commit his presidential administration to greater transparency and open government as a keystone of democracy.
In a letter sent on Monday, the coalition writes: “Transparency is foundational to a government of the people, by the people, for the people. The right to know what our government is up to is also one of the most fundamental checks and balances in our system of government—one that depends on the preservation of relevant information and public access to it. As our country’s history has shown us time and time again, when government secrecy proliferates, so do civil liberties violations and obstacles to democratic accountability.”
The coalition is urging President Biden to take the following concrete steps to restore public trust in government:
- Emphasize to All Federal Employees the Obligation to Give Full Effect to Federal Transparency Laws
- Direct Agencies to Adopt New FOIA Guidelines That Prioritize Transparency and the Public Interest
- Direct DOJ to Fully Leverage its Central Role in Agencies’ FOIA Implementation
- Issue New FOIA Guidance by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Update the National FOIA Portal
- Assess, Preserve, and Disclose the Key Records of the Previous Administration
- Champion Funding Increases for the Public Records Laws
- Endorse Legislative Improvements for the Public Records Laws
- Embrace Major Reforms of Classification and Declassification
- Issue an Executive Order Reforming the Prepublication Review System
The co-signing organizations, including NCAC, all stand ready to assist the Biden administration in making open government one of their most important priorities.
Read the full letter below. Click here for a full screen view: