Santa Clara University

Ethics Center Blog
Bookmark and Share

At the Center

Back to Blog

Freedom of Information Act Requests to the Obama Cabinet

Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012

An editorial in the Orange County Register explores the failure of President Obama's cabinet to respond to Freedom of Information requests from Bloomberg for information on the secretaries' travel.  Interviewed for the piece, Ethics Center Senior Fellow in Government Ethics Judy Nadler said,

Transparency is the most important thing the government can engage in to enhance public trust.  One of the things the president mandated on coming into office was acting promptly on FOIA requests. This is of concern because it should not be difficult for people to see what's going on in government. The FOIA was put in place for people to know what's going on in terms of spending and policy.

When officials fail to respond to FOI requests, Nadler continued,

The default position for many people is that the officials must be hiding something. I don't know if that's true. But the lack of disclosure is troubling, whether it's a city council member or a Cabinet member. The public has a right to know.

Tags: government ethics, transparency