The president should encourage Congress to establish a criminal penalty for willful concealment or destruction of non-exempt agency records requested under FOIA, as well as penalties for employees and contractors who repeatedly fail to comply with CUI policies and employees and contractors with original classification authority who repeatedly fail to comply with proper classification policies.
Such penalties would be the flip side of the criminal prohibition against unauthorized disclosure. Such penalties would occur after an employee or contractor has been notified of non-compliance and has gone through re-training.
Enhanced citizen suit power should be explored. A private citizen can bring a lawsuit against a government body for engaging in conduct prohibited by statute. For example, a citizen can sue a corporation under the Clean Water Act for illegally polluting a waterway. A private citizen can also bring a lawsuit against a government body for failing to perform a nondiscretionary duty. For example, a private citizen could sue the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to promulgate regulations that the Clean Water Act required it to develop. The president should ask the Government Transparency Officer to advise him on options for citizen suit power outside of FOIA to encourage greater transparency.
- From the 21st Century RTK Agenda
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