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 instance, has limited the publication of the fines it imposes on firms.
The Agriculture Department has removed animal welfare enforcement records, including abuses in dog breeding operations and horse farms that alter the gait of racehorses through the controversial practice of “soring” their legs.
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 Washington Post added:
“Officials also removed websites run by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department that provided scientific information about climate change, eliminating access. for instance, to documents evaluating the danger that the desert ecology in the Southwest could face from future warming. (On Friday, protesting against the disappearance of the EPA website, the city of Chicago posted the site online as it had existed under the Obama administration.)
And within a week of President Trump’s inauguration, the White House retired the two-year-old Federal Supplier Greenhouse Gas Management Scorecard, which ranks firms with major federal contracts on their energy efficiency and policies to curb carbon output.”
In other cases, the administration has stopped publishing ethics waivers for former lobbyists. Nor is the White House releasing logs of its visitors. Therefore ending Obama’s precedents for government openness and transparency. “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.”