Sustained Outrage

Keeping secrets

sw09_ad_button1.jpgMore Sunshine Week news:

For the first time in four years, public opinion about government secrecy has leveled off, although more than seven in 10 adults still consider the federal government to be secretive, according to the 2009 Sunshine Week survey by Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University.

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Since 2006, the percentage of adults who believe the federal government to be somewhat or very secretive has grown steadily; from 62 percent in 2006 to 74 percent in 2008. The latest survey finds 73 percent characterizing federal government as secretive.

This mood is perhaps buoyed by the nearly eight in 10 adults who think President Obama’s Freedom of Information directive calling for a presumption of disclosure is the right thing to do.

“Trust in government has been on the decline for some time in the United States. The previous administration’s disclosure policies certainly contributed to public skepticism,” said Jerry Miller, director of the Scripps Survey Research Center at Ohio University. “People now appear more optimistic, but still guarded, about President Obama and the current administration’s disclosure practices under the Freedom of Information Act.”

Read more here and here.

And to see if things have changed much, go back and read the Project Access FOIA Audit conducted in West Virginia a few years ago, via the Gazette’s Web site.