One way “to enhance citizen access to Government information,” a new Senate bill proposes, would be to require that Government documents “must be written clearly.”
By insisting on plain language in official documents, the bill “promotes transparency and accountability,” said lead sponsor Sen. Daniel Akaka. “It is very difficult to hold the Federal Government accountable for its actions if only lawyers can understand Government writing. As we face an economic crisis and unprecedented budget deficits, the American people need clear explanations of Government actions.”
Another Senate bill tackles the problem of judicial secrecy orders and confidential court settlements that deprive the public of significant health or safety information.
“The Sunshine in Litigation Act is a modest proposal that would require federal judges to perform a simple balancing test to ensure that in any proposed secrecy order, the defendant’s interest in secrecy truly outweighs the public interest in information related to public health and safety,” said Sen. Herb Kohl.
“Specifically, prior to making any portion of a case confidential or sealed, a judge would have to determine–by making a particularized finding of fact–that doing so would not restrict the disclosure of information relevant to public health and safety,” he said.
Speaking of sunshine, next week (March 15-21) is “Sunshine Week,” a national campaign to promote values of open government and freedom of information. Background information and a calendar of events can be found here.
To empower new voices to start their career in nuclear weapons studies, the Federation of American Scientists launched the New Voices on Nuclear Weapons Fellowship. Here’s what our inaugural cohort accomplished.
Common frameworks for evaluating proposals leave this utility function implicit, often evaluating aspects of risk, uncertainty, and potential value independently and qualitatively.
The FAS Nuclear Notebook is one of the most widely sourced reference materials worldwide for reliable information about the status of nuclear weapons and has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987. The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by the staff of the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project: Director Hans […]
According to the National Center for Education Statistics’ August 2023 pulse panel, 60% of public schools were utilizing a “community school” or “wraparound services model” at the start of this school year—up from 45% last year.