02.26.13

Leahy: SJC To Hold Annual Sunshine Week Hearing

WASHINGTON – Senator Patrick Leahy announced Tuesday that the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a Freedom of Information Act oversight hearing next month entitled, “We the People: Fulfilling the Promise of Open Government Five Years After The OPEN Government Act.”

Leahy is a longtime advocate of open and transparent government, and has been a leader in Congress in advancing reforms to strengthen FOIA for more than three decades.  In 1996 he was inducted into the FOIA Hall of Fame for his leadership and achievements on open government issues. 

Leahy is also the author of the OPEN Government Act -- the first major set of reforms to FOIA in more than a decade.  He joined Republican Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) in authoring that legislation, which was signed into law in 2007.  Last year, Leahy and Cornyn urged President Obama to make government transparency a high priority during his second term, after a report released by the National Security Archive found that a majority of government agencies have yet to update their FOIA regulations to comply with the OPEN Government Act.  

Leahy and Cornyn have also teamed up on other legislation to make the federal government more open and transparent.  In 2009, Leahy and Cornyn authored the OPEN FOIA Act, which mandated greater transparency for legislative exemptions to FOIA.  That bill was signed into law in October 2009.  Most recently, they have teamed together to author the Faster FOIA Act, which would create a Commission to make recommendations on how to improve the FOIA process.  That legislation twice passed the Senate during the 112th Congress, but the House of Representatives failed to consider the legislation.

The March 13 hearing will be held during Sunshine Week, an annual national observance of the importance of an open and transparent government.

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NOTICE OF COMMITTEE HEARING

 The Senate Committee on the Judiciary has scheduled a hearing entitled “We the People: Fulfilling the Promise of Open Government Five Years After The OPEN Government Act for Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 10:00 a.m., in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

By order of the Chairman.

 

Witness List

Hearing before the
Senate Committee on the Judiciary

On

“We the People: Fulfilling the Promise of
Open Government Five Years After The OPEN Government Act” 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 226
10:00 a.m.

 Melanie Pustay
Director, Office of Information Policy
Department of Justice
Washington, DC

Miriam Nisbet
Director, Office of Government Information Services
National Archives and Records Administration
Washington, DC

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