When is National Freedom of Information Day?
National Freedom of Information Day occurs on March 16th.
What is National Freedom of Information Day?
Fraudsters can run, but they can’t hide. Anyone can demand the info necessary to expose corruption. National Freedom of Information Day celebrates the law that secures government transparency as an American right.
It’s no secret. Powerful people sometimes exploit their position for personal gain. It’s the disease of bureaucracy, and the U.S. isn’t immune to it. But now dishonest dealing is now harder to hide than ever, thanks to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This law protects the American people from officials who squander taxpayer money and partake in crooked deals.
March 16th is also the birthday of James Madison (1751 – 1836). Madison vigorously argued that, because it served the American people, the United States government should keep no secrets from them. National Freedom of Information Day lands on his birthday to remember his contributions to the fight for open dealing.
Fun facts about National Freedom of Information Day!
Rep. John Moss, a democratic congressman from California, headed the campaign for the FOIA in response to administrative secrecy after the Cold War.
President Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act (with discomfort) on July 4th, 1966.
An FOIA Ombudsman is a liaison with the public appointed to handle requests and investigate complaints about government mismanagement.
Scott Pruit resigned from his job as head of the EPA in 2018 because of information journalists obtained through the FOI Act.
How to celebrate National Freedom of Information Day:
Attend a panel at a college or other public forum to learn about the Freedom of Information Act and the rights it affords Americans.
If you prefer, research the Freedom of Information Act on your own. Dig in to its history, like how 9/11 affected it, and find out which exclusions it has.
Practice transparency yourself! Be open and straightforward with the people around you.
What’s the hashtag for National Freedom of Information Day?
Use #FreedomOfInformationDay on social media to celebrate administrative transparency.