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VerDate 0ct 09 2002

OPENNESS IN GOVERNMENT AND FREEDOM OF INFORMATION: EXAMINING THE OPEN GOVERNMENT ACT OF 2005

TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2005

UNITED STATES SENATE, SUBCOMMITTEE ON TERRORISM, TECHNOLOGY, AND HOMELAND SECURITY OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY, Washington, D.C.

The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:05 a.m., in Room SD–226, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. John Cornyn, presiding.

Present: Senators Cornyn, Kyl, and Leahy.

OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN CORNYN, A U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF TEXAS

Senator CORNYN. This hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security shall come to order. I want to start out by thanking Chairman Specter for scheduling today’s hearing, and particularly Senators Kyl and Feinstein for giving Senator Leahy and I the opportunity to, I guess, hijack their Subcommittee to talk about the subject of open government.

Today’s hearing is entitled, ‘‘Openness in Government and Free- dom of Information: Examining the OPEN Government Act of 2005.’’ It is the third in a series of bipartisan events in recent weeks in which Senator Leahy and I have joined forces. On Feb- ruary 16, shortly before the President’s Day recess in February, Senator Leahy and I went to the Senate floor together to introduce the OPEN Government Act, legislation that promotes account- ability, accessibility, and openness in the Federal Government, principally by strengthening and enhancing the Federal law com- monly known as the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA. I am pleased to note that the OPEN Government Act is also cosponsored by Senator Isakson of Georgia, and other Senators, I am sure, will be joining in the coming days and weeks, as they become more and more aware of what it is we are doing here.

Last Thursday, Senator Leahy and I joined forces again to intro- duce the Faster FOIA Act, the Faster Freedom of Information Act of 2005. I have asked Chairman Specter to place the Faster FOIA Act on the Committee’s markup calendar for this Thursday in the hope of enacting this legislation as soon as possible. It shouldn’t be controversial. It ought to be an easy thing to do, and hopefully will give us more information about the problems with faster implemen- tation of FOIA.

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