EPIC and 131 Organizations Support Government Transparency During Coronavirus Crisis
March 20, 2020
EPIC and 131 other organizations issued a public statement supporting government transparency and public access to information when the U.S. is taking measures to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The groups caution that agencies should not take advantage of the public's inability to attend large gatherings to conceal critical policy decisions. The group "encourage[s] the custodians of information at all levels of government to take this opportunity to leverage technology to make governance more inclusive and more credible, not to suspend compliance with core accountability imperatives." The statement emphasized that "the legitimacy of government decision-making requires a renewed commitment to transparency." Last week, the White House ordered federal health officials to treat top-level coronavirus meetings as classified, "an unusual step that has restricted information and hampered the U.S. government's response to the contagion," according to a report by Reuters.