The Department of Justice marked the start of Sunshine Week today with the launch of FOIA.gov, the “flagship initiative” of the department’s Open Government Plan and one of the most significant contributions yet toward making this the most transparent administration in history.
“The Administration’s openness initiatives are central to this President’s approach to governing. Where we can open up the process of governing and enlist our fellow citizens to participate in solving the challenges we face, we’re all going to be better off,” said Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli. “We believe very simply that if we give people the information they seek, they will create a better government.”
FOIA.gov, brings together all the FOIA data collected by the department on behalf of the federal government.
“As we look forward, today we are pleased to unveil an initiative that will make FOIA easier for the thousands of Americans who use it to find out more about their government or to gain access to information that can make their lives better,” explained Perrelli. “The site is designed not just to make FOIA easier. It tries to make FOIA better.”
FOIA.gov was inspired by public feedback gathered during the Open Government dialogues last year. FOIA.gov:
At an event held this morning in the department’s Great Hall, experts from across the federal government came together to discuss the ways they are implementing the President and Attorney General’s transparency initiatives.
“The Freedom of Information Act is a vital part of our democracy,” said Melanie Anne Pustay, Director of the Office of Information Policy. ”Greater transparency and a more open government are happening right now, as a direct result of the actions that have been taken by all agencies, large and small, to implement the President’s and Attorney General’s initiatives.”
The Office of Information Policy, which oversees compliance with the FOIA for the entire federal government, released a summary of these achievements which detail how agencies are putting into practice a “presumption of openness” as directed by the President’s directive and the Attorney General’s FOIA guidelines of 2009. For example: