Last week was the 40th anniversary of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), a landmark law that greatly expanded the ability of ordinary citizens to learn about government activities. FOIA has been of incalculable value to students, government watchdogs, ordinary citizens and journalists who have used the law to obtain a wealth of important data about their government.
It's distressing, therefore, that on the anniversary of this landmark law, we find that many government agencies simply aren't living up to their basic obligations under the measure. CDT joined with several other public interest groups in contributing to a report
on the topic published by OpenTheGovernment.org
. The report tracks the manner in which agencies responded to a 2005 presidential order intended to improve disclosure of information. It found that many agencies failed to properly respond or are lagging in implementing FOIA.