CREW and 36 Groups Call on White House to Reverse Bush Policy Shielding Office of Adminstration
Washington, D.C. - 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 and accountability.
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."
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a non-profit legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions. For more information, please visit www.citizensforethics.org or contact David Merchant at 202.408.5565 or email@example.com