Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Another Brick in the Wall

"Congressional Research Service Clamps Down On Public Distribution"
More Government secrecy, I see. Mustn't let the public know where their tax dollars are going or who earmarks how much for pork barrel projects.

In what is being characterized by subordinates as an act of "managerial dementia," the Director of the Congressional Research Service this week prohibited all public distribution of CRS products without prior approval from senior agency officials.

"I have concluded that prior approval should now be required at the division or office level before products are distributed to members of the public," wrote CRS Director Daniel P. Mullohan in a memo to all CRS staff. "This policy is effective immediately."

While CRS has long refused (with Congressional concurrence) to make its electronic database of reports available to the public online, it has still been possible for members of the press, other researchers, and other government officials to request
specific reports from the congressional support agency.

But now, "to avoid inconsistencies and to increase accountability, CRS policy requires prior approval at the division level before products can be disseminated to
non-congressionals," Director Mullohan wrote.

While this is far from the worst abuse out there, it's one more brick in a wall to block accountability. It stinks.

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