March 10, 2005

TO:
  The Honorable John Cornyn
The Honorable Patrick Leahy
FROM:
  Kay J. Maxwell, President
RE:
  OPEN Government Act, S. 394

The League of Women Voters is pleased to endorse S. 394, the OPEN (Openness Promotes Effectiveness in our National) Government Act of 2005. We appreciate your leadership in introducing this legislation which will expand the accessibility and accountability of the federal government by strengthening the Freedom of Information Act and making information more readily available to the public.

For decades, the League of Women Voters has supported broad citizen participation in government and the citizen’s right to know. We believe that democratic government depends upon the informed and active participation of its citizens at all levels of government. The League further believes that governmental bodies must protect the citizen’s right to know by making information and records accessible to the public.

S. 394 addresses these concerns by establishing a presumption of openness in government. It will strengthen the Freedom of Information Act and assist citizens receiving timely responses to their requests. At a time when citizens are apprehensive about the accessibility and accountability of government, the OPEN Government Act addresses these concerns.

We look forward to working with you to pass the OPEN Government Act.