Civil liberties advocates now have yet another reason to say President Obama has broken his 2008 promise to run the most transparent White House in history.

The White House announced March 16 that it is officially ending the Freedom of Information Act obligations of its Office of Administration. The office is responsible for various record-keeping duties, including the archiving of email.

Interestingly, the news came on National Freedom of Information Day and during the annual Sunshine Week, which focuses on open government.

As The Guardian’s Trevor Timm reports:

“On the very same day as the administration was hailing its non-existent transparency achievements during an event for Sunshine Week, it was also permanently shielding a key White House office from the Freedom of Information Act (Foia). The White House Office of Administration, which is in charge of archiving White House emails, had accepted FOIA requests for 30 years, until the Bush administration convinced a court they didn’t have to in 2007. Open government groups are up in arms that the Obama White House is making Bush’s secrecy policy permanent and declaring the entire office off-limits to the public.”

The Guardian also pointed to an Associated Press study showing that Obama’s White House had actually, as Timm put it, “denied more Foia requests and censored more files than ever in 2014 – beating the record they set last year.” So much for progress.

–Posted by Roisin Davis

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