SAA Statement on the Value and Importance of Transparency in Government

The Society of American Archivists (SAA) promotes the protection and accessibility of records found in governments, organizations, and archives repositories. Because records ensure the protection of individuals’ rights, the accountability of governments and organizations, and the accessibility of historical information, equal and equitable public access to government information is a cornerstone of our democracy. 

SAA firmly believes that the critical nature of information in a democracy places the burden to prove the need for confidentiality, or the legitimacy of excluding information from the public domain, on those asserting such claims. Therefore, SAA strongly opposes any effort by presidential administrations to deny U.S. citizens access to government information found in archives and records. 

SAA will continue to work with individuals, groups, and allied organizations to monitor the impact of the Administration’s decisions affecting access to the public record and to ensure that our voices are heard on these issues. 

Approved by the SAA Council, October 2017.