Secrecy costs rise, study says

Report on Secrecy in the Bush Administration

A study on secrecy in the Bush administration found that growth in secrecy since 2001 caused federal government and private industry officials to spend $6.5 billion on classifying government information in fiscal 2003. That amount represents a $1.8 billion, or 38 percent, increase, compared to the amount spent on classification in fiscal 2001.

The classification expenses were for maintaining secure information systems, controlling physical access to buildings, training employees and providing background checks for government and contractor employees.

The costs are cited in a recent study conducted by the House Government Reform Committee's Minority Staff Special Investigations Division at the request of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), ranking minority member.

The 81-page report, released Sept. 14, quotes experts who said the government's policies on Freedom of Information Act requests have changed under the Bush administration.

One of those experts, Meredith Fuchs, general counsel for the National Security Archive at George Washington University, said in the report: "The Bush administration started on a bad foot when Attorney General Ashcroft introduced a policy that discouraged government agencies from releasing records under FOIA, even when they have the discretion to release. It got worse when they elevated privacy, corporate and other interests above any public interest in information."

The report concludes that administration policies have undermined public access to government information.

Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.