President Obama Issues Sweeping New Transparency Policies

Stating, “My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government,” on his first day in office President Barack Obama announced a sweeping series of transparency reforms. In addition to revoking President Bush’s executive order on presidential records (see related story), the President issued a Presidential Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, and a Presidential Memorandum on the Freedom of Information Act.

Federal Court Rules for VP Cheney in Records Preservation Case

On January 19, Federal District Court Judge Colleen Kollar Kotelly accepted Vice President Cheney’s claim that he was complying with the Presidential Records Act (“PRA”) thus denying efforts by historians and archivists to ensure the full body of Cheney’s records would be preserved. The PRA requires presidential and vice presidential records to be turned over to the National Archives at the end of an administration.

National Park Service Awards 2009 Centennial Challenge Project Funds

On January 13, 2009, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne and National Park Service (NPS) Director Mary A. Bomar, announced $27 million in centennial projects, $10.5 million from the federal government combined with $16.5 million in philanthropic giving. For the second year of its Centennial Challenge, the National Park Service will match federal funds with contributions from park partners to prepare for the NPS centennial in 2016.

Federal Register Announces New “Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents”

The Office of the Federal Register (OFR) has created a new publication, to be called the Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents. The Daily Compilation will appear on the Government Printing Office’s (GPO) new Federal Digital System (FDsys) website January 20, 2009, to coincide with the incoming President’s term of office. The online Daily Compilation will replace the printed Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents.