The Project On Government Oversight welcomes government reform legislation Reps. Tom Davis (R-VA) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) introduced today as an excellent first step toward creating a more open government.
The "Executive Branch Reform Act of 2006" (H.R 5112) would put a stop to secret meetings between lobbyists and executive branch officials, help close the revolving door that currently fosters conflicts of interest between the federal government and lobbyists, as well as federal government contractors.
"This legislation goes a long way toward creating a system POGO has consistently advocated for over the past quarter century," said POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian. "We would hope that any government reform package Congress approves would include these provisions at the very least. After all, a government made for the people and by the people must also remain open and accountable to the people."
The legislation would stop the use of vague, unregulated 'sensitive but unclassified' categories of government secrecy on non-classified government documents and require the government to disclose its hiring or use of public relations firms or "talking heads" when issuing messages to the American people. The bill also increases whistleblower protections for national security employees so they can have the same level of protection other federal employees have.
"We hope Congress moves quickly to act on this legislation and we look forward to continuing to work with them as the bill moves forward," Brian added.