NEWS MEDIA UPDATE · WASHINGTON, D.C. · Freedom of Information · Jan. 5, 2007
Waxman plans subcommittee on information access
Jan. 5, 2007 · Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman (Calif.) wasted no time in shaking up the House Government Reform Committee as its new chair, announcing the proposed creation of five new subcommittees last month, including one dedicated to examining access to government information.
Rep. Waxman was officially elected chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee by members of the 110th Congress this week. But plans for the committee’s reorganization were already well under way back in December.
Although the new subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives is still in its infancy, with no members assigned and no agenda set, according to Waxman’s office, news reports state Waxman intends on making the subcommittee a vehicle to promote more transparency in the federal government.
“We have legislative jurisdiction over [the Freedom of Information Act] and some of the other issues that relate to openness in government,” Waxman told the Washington, D.C., newspaper The Hill this week.
Waxman has long been a staunch supporter of open government, heading up House efforts to improve public records access at the federal level. He has also been a driving force behind efforts to investigate alleged special treatment for Iraqi reconstruction contractor Halliburton and a fierce opponent of the no-bid contract awards throughout federal government.