2011 Trends in Secrecy and Openness
Provisions of Laws
1789 - 1980: 278
G.H.W. Bush: 146
G.W. Bush: 161
Obama: 19 President Obama issued six signing statements during calendar year 2011, bringing his total to nineteen. Most of the signing statements during 2011 challenged specific provisions of the law, only two were ceremonial statements. Overall, eleven of President Obama’s nineteen signing statements challenge specific provisions, seven are ceremonial, and one discusses an inadvertent drafting error in the legislation. The government-wide FOIA backlog rose in FY 2011 for the first time since FY 2008 (the first year where we have comparable numbers). FOIA Backlog Growth Since the Whistleblower Protection Act was strengthened in 1994, Federal Circuit Courts have ruled against whistleblowers 3-226. Dollars for Secrecy Continue to Increase Government agencies spent $11.36 billion in 2011 to secure classified documents. Of the $11.36 billion, $52.6 million was spent for declassification. For the first time ever, the total amount of money requested for intelligence for the coming year was formally disclosed ($71.8 billion for FY2013). This included the request both for the Military Intelligence Program (MIP), which was $19.2 billion, and for the National Intelligence Program (NIP), which was $52.6 billion. In 2012, more information about intelligence spending was made public than in any previous year. That means for every
$1 the government spent on declassifying documents in 2011, the government spent approximately $215 maintaining secrets already on the books. Dollars for Secrecy The federal government can impose secrecy on any new patent by issuing a “secrecy order” (35 USC 181). The number of new orders in 2011 (143) is a 66.2% increase from 2010. For #opengov updates and more, follow us on Twitter at @OpenTheGov.
Like us on facebook at facebook.com/openthegov Statements Challenging
Provisions of Laws “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.”
-Donald Rumsfeld Here's a snapshot of what we know...and don't know... about secrecy this year.
For our full report, visit: ____ After all, estimates from national security experts of the amount of material that is over-classified by the federal government range from 50% - 90%. ? The number of cases cut off from court by use of the state secrets privilege that have been referred to Inspectors General: ? The number of cases referred to Investigator Generals after they were ended by the assertion of the state secrets privilege: ? The donors behind 501(c) 4s and their political spending: ? Are agencies' reports on declassification complete and accurate? After all, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reported a mere 4 original classification decisions in FY2011—a number that puts it more in line with the Millennium Challenge Corporation, an independent foreign aid agency that fights global poverty. ? How much money the government spends protecting information at a higher level than it warrants: ? The number of meetings covered by FACA that have been closed to the public because they are held by a “subcommittee”: ? Did you know? The true number of documents classified or derivatively classified--the real number of records that will someday need to be declassified. But we don't know...See the full transcript