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Thu March 17, 2005
FOI Week -- Thursday Report
By Butler Cain, Alabama Public Radio
Tuscaloosa, AL – The public's access to information has been considered one of the cornerstones of American democracy. In part four of his series on Freedom of Information issues in Alabama, Butler Cain reports the federal government is trying to strengthen its access laws, and one of our state senators is supporting the measure.
The Open Government Act would reform the federal government's information laws. It would make it easier for citizens to get information from the federal government. It would further support the Freedom of Information Act's presumption of openness, and a government that is based not on the need to know but on the right to know. U-S Senator Jeff Sessions says he is supporting the measure.
"I certainly think that, in the long run, our country is better served when the people have access to the records and documents that go on there."
The Act would specifically strengthen the Freedom of Information Act and close several loopholes. It would also ensure the timely provision of requested information. Republican Senator John Cornyn and Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy are co-sponsoring the bill.
For the Alabama Report, I'm Butler Cain.