Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Accountability - Windbag or Visionary?

Today's Toronto Sun has an amusing article on the eagerness of Canadians to see more accountability from government. It is amusing in its theme that this is based on Barack Obama:

President Barack Obama's pledge to run accountable, transparent government clearly appeals to Canadians: Three-quarters of us want to pry open our federal government to more public scrutiny.

A pledge is one thing. Action is apparently another.
In his first weeks in office, President Barack Obama shut down his predecessor’s system for reviewing regulations, realigned and expanded two key White House policymaking bodies and extended economic sanctions against parties to the conflict in the African nation of Cote D’Ivoire.

Despite the intense scrutiny a president gets just after the inauguration, Obama managed to take all these actions with nary a mention from the White House press corps.

The moves escaped notice because they were never announced by the White House Press Office and were never placed on the White House web site.

They came to light only because the official paperwork was transmitted to the Federal Register, a dense daily compendium of regulatory actions and other formal notices prepared by the National Archives. They were published there several days after the fact.

Paul Wells made a similar complaint some time ago.
Perhaps the Obama staff are just having a difficult time figuring out how to use those old Bush web sites.


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