Sunshine Week Events Aim to Promote Open Government

This week is Sunshine Week, an annual effort sponsored by journalism advocacy and civil society organizations to promote values of open government, freedom of information, and public participation. A rich variety of events are scheduled around the country, most of which are free and many of which will be webcast.

I will be participating in several programs, including these:  Open Government in the Second Term, sponsored by the Center for Effective Government and the Electronic Privacy Information Center on March 12.

The Future of Classification Reform, sponsored by the Brennan Center for Justice on March 14

Freedom of Information Day at the Newseum on March 15

Freedom of Information Day at the Washington College of Law Collaboration on Government Secrecy on March 18

A new report from the Center for Effective Government found reason to praise the Obama Administration’s openness in some areas of government but not in national security, which it said has been a “glaring exception” to progress in other domains.

Among numerous recommendations for future progress, the Center report urged the Department of Justice to renounce the use of criminal prosecution for leaks to the media. “Unauthorized disclosures of restricted information to the media should be handled through administrative channels, not criminal prosecution.”  See Delivering on Open Government: The Obama Administration’s Unfinished Legacy, March 10.

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