Quigley Kicks Off First Transparency Caucus Event of the 113th Congress

Mar 12, 2013
Panel discussion focused on Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Reform
WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the Congressional Transparency Caucus held its first event of the 113th Congress, bringing together experts in the field to discuss recent progress on Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reform and continued efforts to improve public access to government records.
“The Freedom of Information Act is the cornerstone of government transparency, and it is essential to allowing our citizens to oversee the government and hold us accountable. It’s more important today than ever before with the public’s trust in government is at an all time low,” said Rep. Quigley, who co-founded and currently serves as co-chair of the Transparency Caucus. “Transparency is essential for rebuilding the public’s trust in government. An efficient and effective FOIA system that allows the public easy access to government information is a critical tool to increase access and rebuild that confidence.”
The bipartisan Congressional Transparency Caucus seeks to enact legislation that will bring openness and accessibility to the federal government. Though FOIA reform has made substantial strides in recent years, implementation issues remain. Today’s panel, moderated by Daniel Schuman, Policy Counsel at the Sunlight Foundation, examined these issues and possible solutions moving forward. The panel featured Miriam Nisbet, Director of the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) at the National Archives and Records Administration, Rick Blum, Coordinator at the Sunshine in Government Initiative and Gavin Baker, Open Government Policy Analyst at the Center for Effective Government.
Rep. Quigley has been committed to good government reform throughout his time in Congress. He recently introduced the Congressional Research Service Electronic Accessibility Act, which would make taxpayer-funded congressional reports available to the public. Later this month, he plans to reintroduce the Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act, which would create a single website where the public can easily search, sort and download all congressional reports from agencies ranging from the Food and Drug Administration to the Department of Justice.