Transparency Push

By Christopher J. Castelli / October 2, 2009 at 5:00 AM

Tucked in the fiscal year 2010 appropriations bill is a surprising little amendment approved by the Senate yesterday that at least in theory could force the Pentagon to open up a bit online.

The amendment, offered by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and approved by the Senate, says any report submitted to the Senate Appropriations Committee from any department or agency "shall be posted on the public website of that agency upon receipt by the committee." It exempts reports that if released would compromise national security or reveal proprietary information.

“It is called transparency,” Coburn said yesterday on the Senate floor. “The American people are paying for ((the reports)). The American people have a right and an obligation to see them if they are going to be involved in the governance of our country. In fact, they are supposed to be in charge of the governance of our country.”

The Senate is slated to resume consideration of the bill on Tuesday, Oct. 6.