National Freedom of Information Day conference
package compiles materials from the 2001 National Freedom of Information
Day conference March 16 at The Freedom Forum in Arlington, Va.
of two anniversary observances added special meaning to the annual
conference. The year marked the 35th anniversary of the federal
Freedom of Information Act, and March 16, 2001, was the 250th birthday
observance for James Madison, regarded as the Father of the Constitution
as well as the foremost advocate for openness in government. Madison's
birth date has been observed for many years as National Freedom
of Information Day.
The 2001 conference
was titled, "Access, Privacy and Security: A Troubled Tangle."
and their leaders today are struggling to reconcile the need to
protect personal privacy and national security with the democratic
imperative of maximum access to government information," said Freedom
Forum First Amendment Ombudsman Paul McMasters.
Some of the
more important features of the 2001 National FOI Day conference
- Former White
House Chief of Staff John Podesta heading up a list of 27 distinguished
speakers and presenters.
- Panel discussions
of two important access issues: Efforts to pass a law punishing
the leaking of secret information to the public and press, and
controversy over making court records widely available over the
on access developments and trends in the Clinton administration,
Congress, the courts, and government secrecy, as well as in international,
state and local laws and policies.
- A special
analysis of more than 20 audits of sunshine laws compliance.
on four important freedom-of-information initiatives at the federal
and state levels.
- A strategy
statement on access to government information, drafted by a committee
representing major FOI-related organizations, to be presented
as a blueprint for improving policies and laws and building support
for the principle of access.
resources and coverage of these topics, click on the links in the
top page bar.
The annual conference
is sponsored by The Freedom Forum's First Amendment Center in cooperation
with the American Library Association. The conference also is endorsed
by a coalition of more than 30 FOI-related organizations.
For more information,
contact Paul McMasters, First Amendment Ombudsman, The Freedom Forum,
703/284-3511 or firstname.lastname@example.org.