For Immediate Release
CREW and 36 Groups Call on White House to Reverse Bush Admin Policy Shielding Office of Administration from FOIA Compliance
WASHINGTON - Citizens for Responsibility of Ethics in Washington (CREW), along
with 36 other organizations, has sent a letter to the White House
urging that the White House's Office of Administration (OA) once again
become an agency subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), as
had been the case in previous administrations.
From its inception in 1977, OA functioned consistently as an agency
subject to the FOIA, adopting comprehensive FOIA regulations and
processing hundreds of FOIA requests. The Bush administration radically
departed from all prior administrations when, in the midst of
litigating a FOIA request from CREW seeking documentation of the
millions of missing White House emails, it decided OA no longer is an
agency. That change in course meant that OA need not comply with CREW's
or any other information requests under the FOIA.
CREW is still in court working to uncover the millions of missing White House emails.
As the letter details, allowing public access to the activities of
the Executive Office of the President and its components like OA plays
a critical role in meeting the president's commitment to transparency
Anne Weismann, CREW's chief counsel, said "For eight long years the
Bush administration used legal tactics such as changing the status of
OA, to keep the public in the dark about what transpired at the White
House. Starting with his own offices, President Obama now has the
perfect opportunity to make good on his promise of transparency. We
hope he decides to keep his word to the American people."
Click here to read the letter the White House and view other related documents on the right.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials -- regardless of party affiliation -- who sacrifice the common good to special interests. CREW advances its mission using a combination of research, litigation and media outreach.