Despite a presidential order to be more open, nearly half of federal agencies have not shown concrete action in handling Freedom of Information Act requests, the 2011 Knight Open Government Survey discovered.
Last year, the Knight Open Government Survey found that only 13 out of 90 agencies made concrete changes, making national headlines, and prompting the White House to require improvements from agencies.’ The number is up to 49 this year, but clearly there is still much progress still to be made on the order the president issued at the beginning of his term.
‘At this rate, the president’s first term in office may be over by the time federal agencies do what he asked them to do on his first day in office,’ said Eric Newton, senior adviser to the president at Knight Foundation, which funded the study conducted by the National Archive. .
The Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities concluded that public information belongs to the public, and the government must be more open. ‘The purpose of the Knight Open Government Survey is to determine how well the federal government follows its own freedom of information rules.’ The survey uses systematic Freedom of Information Act requests to require agencies reveal their own performance under the law.
These results have been released as part of this year’s Sunshine Week, a series of events designed to promote government openness and freedom of information.