Sunday, March 14, 2010

And the Rosemary Goes to ...

Congratulations are due to the Federal Chief Information Officers' Council, which beat out strong competition to win the 2010 Rosemary Award for Worst Open Government Performance.

Washington, DC, March 12, 2010 - The Rosemary Award for worst open government performance, named after President Nixon’s secretary who erased 18 ½ minutes of a crucial Watergate tape, this year goes to the Federal Chief Information Officers Council, the senior federal officials (responsible for $71 billion a year of IT purchases) who have never addressed the failure of the government to save its e-mail electronically, according to the citation today by the National Security Archive.

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Previous recipients of the Rosemary Award include the FBI in 2009 (for having a record-setting rate of “no records” responses to FOIA requests), the Treasury Department in 2008 (for shredding FOIA requests and delaying responses for decades), the Air Force in 2007, and the Central Intelligence Agency in 2006. The Award is named after President Nixon’s long-time secretary Rose Mary Woods and the backwards-leaning stretch – answering the phone while keeping her foot on the pedal of a tape transcription machine – that she testified caused the erasure of an 18 ½ minute section of a key Watergate conversation on the White House tapes.

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