[govinfo] Sign-on opportunity re Smithsonian transparency

  • From: "Patrice McDermott" <pmcdermott@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "opengovpartners@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <opengovpartners@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "FOI-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <FOI-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "govinfo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <govinfo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "fen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <fen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2008 15:02:36 -0500

Please find attached a letter for organizational sign-on about a recent 
Smithsonian Directive on access to its records. The issue relates to the 
portions of the SI Directive indicated below. You are encouraged to circulate 
this entire message to others who might want to sign on.

THIS LETTER IS CONFIDENTIAL UNTIL SENT - and we will appreciate members of the 
media who receive this note respecting that confidentiality.

The deadline for sign-on is TUESDAY, 15 JAN, 5 pm EST.  To sign on, please send 
the name, title, and org of the signatory to Chris Green. The letter will be 
sent to the Regents of the Smithsonian late next week.

We are not accepting individual sign-ons. We encourage you to send a letter to 
the Regents, particularly the 6 Members of Congress. You have our permission to 
crib from the attached letter.

Patrice McDermott, Director
202.332.OPEN (6736)

It is the policy of the Smithsonian Institution to respond
to all written requests for SI records in a manner
consistent with principles of disclosure under the FOIA.
The Institution recognizes, however, that the
Smithsonian's unique nature and activities as a trust
instrumentality can necessitate withholding some
records in order to further the Institution's mission. The
following types of records will not ordinarily be provided
to the public:

. Commercial and financial information which, if
released, could cause substantial competitive harm
to the Smithsonian's business activities; [emphasis added]

The Institution may make other written exceptions to
the disclosure of records only with the written approval
of the Secretary as necessary to further the Institution's
mission and best interests.

This directive does not apply to contracts/agreements
entered into prior to the directive's effective date, in
which parties contracting with Smithsonian Business
Ventures (SBV) entered into a contractual relationship
with an expectation that the terms of the agreement
would not be disclosed to the public.



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