We are forwarding the following message from Emily Feldman of the Government Relatiojns Office of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) because it contains important information that we believe should be distributed widely:
OpenTheGovernment.org today released the latest edition of their annual Secrecy Report Card (http://www.openthegovernment.org/otg/SecrecyRC_2009.pdf). This year’s report card found slight decreases in government secrecy overall, though secrecy still trumps openness in many instances. This year’s report also includes a special analysis of the Obama Administration’s mixed track record on transparency.
Some of the highlights from this year’s report include:
-FOIA backlogs were reduced slightly in 2008: government-wide, 17,689 more FOIA requests were processed than received in 2008.
-The Department of Justice reports 24,744 National Security Letter (NSL) requests pertaining to roughly 7,225 different U.S. persons were made in 2008, an 18% increase over requests in 2007-but a 50% decrease from reported 2006 numbers.
-More than 65% of the 6,840 meetings of federal advisory committees that fall under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) were completely closed to the public in 2008.
We encourage you to take a look at this year’s fascinating report. The 2009 Secrecy Report Card is available here: http://www.openthegovernment.org/otg/SecrecyRC_2009.pdf