Trump administration limiting access to public information: report

Trump administration limiting access to public information: report
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Under the Trump administration, certain data and previously public information is being eliminated or hidden, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, for example, has limited the publication of the fines it imposes on employers. The administration has also stopped publishing ethics waivers for former lobbyists.

Websites from the Obama administration have been removed, including a page that took individuals hoping to donate to Syria to independent groups helping refugees. The administration has also ended Obama’s practice of publishing White House visitor logs.

“The President has made a commitment that his Administration will absolutely follow the law and disclose any information it is required to disclose,” Kelly Love, a spokeswoman for the White House, told the newspaper.

Love added that the administration “requires all employees to work closely with ethics counsel to ensure compliance. Per the President’s Executive Order, violators will be held accountable by the Department of Justice.”

In the last three months, the data sets on data.gov decreased from 195,245 to 156,000, according to Nathan Cortez, who analyzes public data at Southern Methodist University.

Experts told the Post that, while the recent actions may be the result of consolidating data, the decrease in information is not an accident.

Cortez said that the Obama administration increased government public data, although it was not always exact. But under President Trump, transparency is moving “in the opposite direction.”

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