USA Today link provided by George Jefferson
The White House is removing a federal regulation that subjects its
Office of Administration to the Freedom of Information Act, making
official a policy under Presidents Bush and Obama to reject requests for
records to that office.
The White House said the cleanup of FOIA
regulations is consistent with court rulings that hold that the office
is not subject to the transparency law. The office handles, among otherhyp
things, White House record-keeping duties like the archiving of e-mails.
the timing of the move raised eyebrows among transparency advocates,
coming on National Freedom of Information Day and during a national
debate over the preservation of Obama administration records. It's also
Sunshine Week, an effort by news organizations and watchdog groups to
highlight issues of government transparency.
"The irony of this
being Sunshine Week is not lost on me," said Anne Weismann of the
liberal Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW.
is completely out of step with the president's supposed commitment to
transparency," she said. "That is a critical office, especially if you
want to know, for example, how the White House is dealing with e-mail."