Sunshine Law

Mariame Samuda
A.P. United States History and Govt.
Mrs. Gordon

Topic: What are the Sunshine Law and the Freedom of Information Act? What do they try to achieve and how successful are they?

The Sunshine Act was adopted in the year 1977. It is a law that set standards for law mandating openness. The Sunshine Act requires the public to be notified when governmental are conducted in public. Agencies that are considered regulatory must follow specific rules in order to prevent unwanted secrecy. They must give notice well in advance. These typically included the date , time, place, and the agenda of their meeting. State governments adapted their own type of sunshine laws. It has become very difficult for any type of public body such as city councils or planning commission to conduct official business. Meeting that are conducted closed or unannounced can easily be challenge by the public.
Through passing the Freedom of Information Act 1966 or FOIA, Congress increased the publics access to bureaucracy. The Act amended in 1974 allows the public to go to any agency to view and access archives that are unclassified   documents. Every Government Website has a link that is required. The government also has a handbook that is put in order to tell the public how to take advantage of this given right.
There are limitations regarding the FOIA. For example, the FOIA cannot be used to gain access to internal records such as personal files. This include known information on a living person that might be too sensitive. But it is possible to get information such as an FBI file on a person who is not living anymore. The documents requested must be made in a formal manner. They must also be very specific in citing documentations. The agency has no obligation when it comes to given information. Information usually requested comes from lawyers, scholars, and the media. There has been a desire to limit information that is critical or embarrassing.
Public bureaucracy usually...