The Daily Caller
A new report finds that in the past decade, federal agencies held the highest percentage of closed-door meetings in 2013 and 2014, undermining President Obama’s commitment to running the “most transparent administration in history.”
The report, from the Congressional Research Service, looked at data provided by federal agencies under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).
The executive branch utilizes federal advisory committees as a way to allow outside experts to provide advice and recommendations to the president and to federal agencies. According to the report, 825 federal advisory committees with 68,179 members held 7,173 meetings in fiscal year 2014, all at a cost of $334 million.
Most meetings are held by grant review committees or are special emphasis panel meetings and are often closed to protect advice provided by subject matter experts who require secrecy in order to provide honest opinions. Other meetings are closed in order to protect proprietary information provided by grant applicants.
But fiscal years 2013 and 2014 saw the lowest level of meeting transparency in the 10 years of data collected for the report.