Archive for Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Lawsuit seeks names of civilian workers

December 7, 2005

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— Breaking a tradition of openness that began in 1816, the Bush administration has without explanation withheld the names and work locations of about 900,000 of its civilian workers, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

"Citizens have a right to know who is working for the government," said Adina Rosenbaum, attorney for the co-directors of the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a research group at Syracuse University, who sued under the Freedom of Information act to get the data.

Since 1989, TRAC has been posting on the Internet a database with the name, work location, salary and job category of all 2.7 million federal civilian workers except those in some law enforcement agencies. The data are often used by reporters and government watchdog groups to monitor policies and detect waste or abuse.

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