During the past six months, government officials have maintained their positive, open stance toward the media as part of the government's new communications policy. Most officials do not avoid answering journalist's questions. However, information provided by officials often lacks depth or detail when dealing with sensitive cases or issues involving their particular institutions. Also, it has been difficult to obtain consistent data on homicide figures and on the status of the investigations. Despite the government's commitment to consolidate records from related agencies on homicides and other crimes, there has been no significant progress toward this end. The judicial system has featured, albeit to a lesser degree, continued efforts by certain judges to subpoena journalists, even though these journalists have not been witnesses to any crime. However, the number of subpoenas decreased after the Penal Code was amended to establish legal protection for journalists. Also continuing has been the arbitrary fashion in which judges decide to grant or deny journalists access to public proceedings. Claiming a lack of space, among other reasons, these judges are violating the provision that allows access to be restricted only in cases involving national security or social unrest, or to protect the privacy of the victim. Judges are required by law to provide a written explanation for restricting access to proceedings, but this requirement is not being upheld. Another problem is the lack of access to the Supreme Court. The justices have repeatedly refused to meet with journalists, especially with those who are critical of the justice system. It is nearly impossible to obtain the full decisions of the four divisions that make up the high court. Mid-level officials have been emboldened in their lack of cooperation by those at the highest levels, including the Court's security officers, who monitor and restrict the movement of journalists within the Supreme Court building. For more than a year now, the chief justice of the Supreme Court has refused to grant interviews to the newspaper La Prensa Gráfica . Elsewhere El sewhere, the Salvadoran Court of Accountability continues to handle the results of its audits at its discretion, under the cover of the 2003 amendment to its organic law (which was also criticized by the U.S. State Department). This amendment, which restricts access to reports that are not yet final, has been repeatedly criticized by free speech organizations. This is one of the most serious restrictions on the freedom of information, as it comes, ironically enough, from a government oversight body. Accountability proceedings against government officials are held behind closed doors. Access is barred to the both proceedings and records in cases involving mismanagement of funds. The Court of Accountability contains four chambers, but the presence of journalists is not allowed. This poses the urgent need for legal reforms to allow access to such proceedings deemed of public interest. The government has shown a lack of transparency in recent years concerning the status of public finances, specifically the budget deficit, which has been shown to be larger than in official figures. The current administration, under pressure from investigative reporting, ultimately admitted that the Treasury Ministry had concealed deficits of more than $200 million in 2002, 2003 and 2004.