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Project on Government Oversight




Groups Urge Funding for Secrecy Oversight Board

May 3, 2005 


In a letter to Congress and the President, funding for the Public Interest Declassification Board was urged by a diverse list of organizations including taxpayer groups, 9/11 family members, and open government advocates. Despite the public's growing concern about excessive government secrecy, funding has not been requested or appropriated for the Board, which will provide an independent review of government decisions to classify documents.

The Board was enacted by the 2001 Intelligence Authorization Act and extended for another four years by the 2004 Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act. Seven out of the nine members have been named, enough for a quorum. However, the Federation of American Scientists recently pointed out that funds have not been set aside that will enable the Board to meet (click here to learn more about the FAS and the funds.) 

Representatives Christopher Shays (R-CT) and Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) recently indicated that the Board could help decrease unnecessary secrecy at a Congressional hearing on overclassification in March, 2005.

Legislation authorizing the Board and describing its mandate can be viewed at the Federation of American Scientists web site.

The letter was sent to President Bush, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, Senator Trent Lott, Senator Ron Wyden, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and House and Senate Appropriations Committees.

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO's investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

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