President Barack Obama repeatedly pledged he would run the most transparent administration in the history of the United States during both of his presidential campaigns, but the evidence shows Obama’s administration has not only failed to meet that standard, it has actively worked to conceal important information from the public.
(Article by H. Sterling Burnett, republished from http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2016/03/02/so-much-for-obamas-pledge-to-transparency/#586fb7a56abc)
For instance, in March 2015, the Obama administration rescinded a regulation requiring the administration to comply with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, thereby exempting itself from public scrutiny and oversight. So much for transparency.
The Obama administration’s action should not surprise anyone. An Associated Press investigation conducted in 2014 shows secrecy has increased dramatically under Obama’s time in office. In 2013, the Obama administration censored or denied 244,675 FOIA requests, which amounts to about 36% of the FOIA applications the administration received. This rejection rate is higher than under any previous presidential administration. Another 196,034 FOIA requests were denied because the government claimed it couldn’t find records or the government determined the request to be unreasonable or improper. In 2014, the figures were even worse. More than250,000, or about 39%, of FOIA requests were either censored or denied. In 215,584 other instances, the government said the records could not be found or it decided the requests were unreasonable.
Secrecy on matters of environmental science
Memos and information related to national security deserve heightened scrutiny before being released—if they are released at all—but the Obama administration has concealed or denied the release of critical information not related to national security as well, such as the scientific information used to justify environmental regulations. Obama’s lack of transparency when it comes to environmental science makes it very difficult for independent researchers to review important data the government relies on to ensure environmental regulations are justified and based on sound science.
Multiple U.S. Senate reports have found Obama administration officials at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other government environmental agencies have repeatedly attempted to avoid public input at meetings or have worked to limit scrutiny by hiding information that ought to have been made readily available, violating the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), widely known as the “open meetings law.”
Read more at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2016/03/02/so-much-for-obamas-pledge-to-transparency/#586fb7a56abc