Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Right Hand, Meet Left Hand

    On Monday (3/4/12), Lisa Ellman, Chief Counselor for the Open Government Partnership, wrote the following on the White House blog:
Fulfilling our Commitment to Open Government: We Hear You 
We announced last week that we are doing a self-assessment of the U.S. National Action Plan on Open Government and were looking for your feedback about our implementation. We are meeting with civil society groups to solicit their feedback in person, and we set up ways for you to share your own feedback online through a dedicated Q&A site Quora, or through a web form on WhiteHouse.gov. And we take your feedback seriously. 
Here’s proof: We heard from you that it would be helpful if we published the text of the President's directive extending whistleblower protections to the intelligence and national security communities for the first time. We decided you were right. Click here to find the directive.
    The directive (PPD-19), dated October 10, 2012, is titled "Protecting Whistleblowers with Access to Classified Information" and begins as follows:
This Presidential Policy Directive ensures that employees (1) serving in the Intelligence Community or (2) who are eligible for access to classified information can effectively report waste, fraud, and abuse while protecting classified national security information. It prohibits retaliation against employees for reporting waste, fraud, and abuse. 

    President Obama has said that his administration is "committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government."  In this case, the administration apparently didn't realize just how open it was.  The same document has been available at the Homeland Security Digital Library since (according to Google) the date it was issued, October 10, 2012.  Here is the first page of the PDF document which is available for downloading:

    Which raises the question: in what other unintentional transparency is the Obama administration currently engaging?

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