WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Library Association (ALA) distributed its Resolution on Access to and Classification of Government Information to all members of the U.S. Congress and to the White House this week in recognition of Sunshine Week, a national initiative to promote dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information.
The resolution, which was passed during the 2011 Midwinter Conference, resolved that the ALA:
- commends President Barack Obama for establishing the National Declassification Agency and issuing Executive Order 13526 on Classified National Security Information and supports and encourages expanded initiatives to reform the U.S. classification system;
- urges Congress to pass legislation that expands protections for whistleblowers in the Federal government, such as the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2010;
- urges the U.S. President, Congress, the federal courts and executive and legislative agencies to defend the inalienable right of the press and citizens to disseminate information to the public about national security issues and to refrain from initiatives that impair these rights; and
- affirms the principle that government information made public within the boundaries of U.S. law should be available through libraries and the press without restriction.