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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Business Community Supports Pro-Disclosure FOIA Legislation

This is from the Association of Washington Business blog:

"In today's New York Times, the business section looks at Congressional legislation pending to reform the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the law that allows citizens, trade associations, and of course journalists, to pierce the veil of obscurity that often surrounds the machinery of government. The Times, citing examples, notes the federal sunshine law has stopped working, resulting in wrongful denial of public records requests and abusive delays by federal agencies without any meaningful consequences. And so the oddly-if-optimistically titled "Openness Promotes Effectiveness in Our National Government Act of 2007" (OPEONGA?) is moving through the US Senate, with support from AWB national partners the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. It would among other things provide tight deadlines for complying with records requests, provide consequences for wrongful denial, and establish an ombudsman to resolve disputes."

The business community has some of the strongest interests in open government. Business should want to know how government agencies are regulating them and spending their money. Sure, a few giant corporations are anti-disclosure, but most of small business is adamantly pro-disclosure.