EPIC and Coalition Urge Biden Administration to Commit to Transparency and Adopt New FOIA Guidelines
February 22, 2021
EPIC and a coalition of 42 other organizations sent a letter to President Biden to commit to making transparency a top priority in his new administration. President Biden has pledged to "bring transparency and truth back to government," and advocates like EPIC intend to hold his administration accountable to these promises. The group asked the President to, among other things: direct agencies to adopt new Freedom of Information Act guidelines that prioritize transparency and the public interest; direct the Attorney General to issue new FOIA guidance; assess, preserve, and disclose key records of the previous administration; endorse legislative improvements for public records laws like FOIA and the Public Records Act; and seek funding increases for public records laws. The letter emphasized that "[a]s our country's history has shown us time and time again, when government secrecy proliferates, so do civil liberties violations and obstacles to democratic accountability." EPIC's Open Government Project frequently makes use of the FOIA to obtain information from the government, often litigating to force disclosure of agency records that impact critical privacy interests.