Government Transparency

President Obama favors government by executive order. How about this one: a Presidential directive requiring every appointee and bureaucrat to attest to the existence of any private email, texting or instant-messaging systems being used for government work. All off-the-reservation documentation must cease. Private email is for personal needs.

The chances of this happening are nil. Opacity has served the Obama Administration’s political purposes if not the country. A sunnier day will have to wait until 2017.

Here’s an action that doesn’t necessarily have to wait on an Executive Order (which, being only temporary, would be a suboptimal answer, anyway): call every Department and Agency head before the House Government Reform Committee and separately and sequentially before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee to certify under oath to each that the Department or Agency he heads has no private email correspondence going out over government servers, no government emails going out over private servers, and that all government business is conducted over and only over government servers—three separate, if overlapping, sworn certifications, each made separately to the two committees. For any such head who does not make that sworn certification, cut his organization’s budget by 10%. Do it again at the start of the next budget cycle.

Don’t ask these heads, pretty please, to come on over; subpoena their patooties to testify on the first day of the week following the subpoena.

That’ll likely have to wait until 2017, too, though, to get any teeth.

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