For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Mandy Simon, (202) 236-7031;

President Obama Signs Executive Order Widening Government Transparency

WASHINGTON - President
Obama signed an Executive Order today that will help improve government
transparency by standardizing and limiting the use of control markings,
document designations designed to limit disclosure of unclassified
information within the government to the public and Congress. The
Executive Order also rescinds a 2008 Bush administration memorandum that
created a framework for limiting dissemination of government documents
and information by labeling them as "controlled unclassified
information" (CUI). 

Today's Executive Order mandates
that government documents can only be labeled CUI if dissemination
restrictions are required by law, regulation or government-wide policy,
rather than by individual executive agency policy, which has allowed
varied, inconsistent and inappropriate use of control markings. The
Order also clarifies that control markings cannot influence agency
decisions to release information under the Freedom of Information Act or
other discretionary releases, nor can they be used to impede the flow
of information to Congress or the judiciary. 

American Civil Liberties Union worked closely with the administration on
the Executive Order guidelines and lauded President Obama for signing
it today.
The following can be attributed to Michael German, ACLU Policy Counsel and former FBI Agent:

"We are very pleased that the Obama
administration took the opportunity to reform a confusing and
inconsistent system that unnecessarily prevented information from being
shared with the public and within the government. The public's access to
information should face as few hurdles as possible. Limiting public
access to unclassified information impacts all Americans because it
strikes at the very heart of an open and vibrant democracy.  

"This Executive Order is a welcome
step toward ensuring that our government agencies can no longer withhold
information without oversight. Creating clear and public standards
about the process that our government uses to deny information from its
citizens is crucial to an open government."



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