United States

WHEREAS the Freedom of Information Act in the United States has been a model for countries everywhere of government transparency WHEREAS a memorandum issued by the U.S. Justice Department in October directed that before a federal agency can release information under a FOIA request, it must consider "our national security, enhancing the effectiveness of our law enforcement agencies, protecting sensitive business information and, not least, preserving personal privacy" WHEREAS that memorandum and other statements by Justice Department officials raise concerns that the government will be more restrictive in allowing the fundamental flow of information WHEREAS FOIA practices until now have successfully maintained the balance between transparency, on the one hand, and understandable considerations of security, especially following the September 11 terror attacks WHEREAS Principle 3 of the Declaration of Chapultepec says," the authorities must be compelled by law to make available in a timely and reasonable manner the information generated by the public sector. No journalist may be forced to reveal his or her sources of information" THE MIDYEAR MEETING OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to urge the U.S. government not to restrict application of the FOIA and to maintain the openness and access to government documents that have been a model for the rest of the hemisphere.