White House Vastly Overstates Federal Transparency, Auditors Report

Joseph Marks | Nextgov | October 30, 2013

The U.S. has only completed half the commitments it made two years ago under an international government transparency agreement, an independent auditor found recently.

That’s in stark contrast to a March report in which White House officials claimed the government had completed 24 of its 26 original commitments to the Open Government Partnership.

The government has made minimal progress at declassifying benign national security records or using new technology to make it easier for people to request documents under the Freedom of Information Act, according to the independent assessment.

The White House claimed to have fulfilled both commitments, citing a presidential order to establish a National Declassification Center and several new websites that receive and manage FOIA requests. Those initiatives have largely failed, so far, to make government more transparent to citizens, according to the independent assessment.