OPEN GOVERNMENT — Mark Tapscott, writing in dcexaminer.com last week, was skeptical of the supposed transparency of the House stimulus bill. He thinks which organizations get what money for what purposes will be carefully buried.
The oversight reporting provisions expressly do NOT go beyond the Freedom of Information Act, and all its exemptions are incorporated to allow redaction of data before its given to the public.
If including the FOIA commercial privilege exemption isn't sufficient to make the point, the legislation also says that all information that is proprietary under ANY state or federal law or regulation is also exempted from disclosure.
The Oversight Board to be established to monitor how the money is being spent will consist only of high-ranking executive branch appointees of the Administration. As former Rep. Ernest Istook observed, this means "the foxes will guard the henhouses."
On the brighter side, Tapscott added that
"Cool beyond words" is right.