Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Investigations: U.S. Spent $195 Keeping Secrets For Each $1 For Declassification

Just added a new link to my blogroll: (See my "FOI Resources" section in the column on the right.) This broad-based D.C. coalition advocates for government transparency and provides resources for same. The site has a good resource page if you happen to be researching the secrets and mysteries of the financial bailout here.

The site also recently released its fifth annual report on government secrecy. Did you know that:

- The U.S. government spent $195 maintaining secrets for every $1 for declassification documents in 2007, a five-percent increase over 2006. This, even though fewer documents were declassified last year.

- Eighteen percent of the Department of Defense budget was spent on "black" - highly classified - programs in 2007, or $31.9 billion.

- Government departments spent $7 million less on Freedom of Information implementation last year and has 209 fewer people devoted to this work. This, despite a two-percent increase in the FOI request volume.

- The U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees government requests for surveillance of foreign intel suspects in the U.S., okayed 2,371 orders in 2007. It rejected only three.

- Only one-third of U.S. federal contracts were subject to full and open competition.

TAGS: investigations, secrecy

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