the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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Opening up the people's house

Today, the President took another important step toward a more open and transparent government by announcing a historic new policy to voluntarily disclose White House visitor access records.  Each month, records of visitors from the previous 90-120 days will be made available online.  

In his statement released earlier today, the President sums up this historic step:

For the first time in history, records of White House visitors will be made available to the public on an ongoing basis.  We will achieve our goal of making this administration the most open and transparent administration in history not only by opening the doors of the White House to more Americans, but by shining a light on the business conducted inside it.  Americans have a right to know whose voices are being heard in the policymaking process.

Aside from a small group of appointments that cannot be disclosed because of national security imperatives or their necessarily confidential nature (such as a visit by a possible Supreme Court nominee), the record of every visitor who comes to the White House for an appointment, a tour, or to conduct business will be released.  Read the full policy here.

The Administration has also agreed with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) to settle four pending cases requesting specific White House visitor access records, including those dating from the Bush administration (read the transmittal letter here). We have provided CREW with the records relating to their requests, which are here:

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The Administration also thanks CREW for their participation in the development of the new voluntary disclosure policy.


Norm Eisen is Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform