WASHINGTON---Here's an update on a Dec. 29 column I did faulting the Obama transition team for not posting meetings transition officials are having with outside groups on a Web site. The omission of this data violated the transition "seat at the table" transparency policy. The transition does post documents groups bring to a meeting or submit for study by transition officials. That's good, an improvement on past practices of prior administrations. But that's not a meeting list.
Right after my column ran, the transition started to list some meetings with groups that did not bring any documents to post. The names of the groups and the representatives were listed. Not included were names of the transition officials who they met with.
However, it seems there still is not a regular listing of meetings and participants--from groups and transition officials from those who bring documents to post.
By the way, for true disclosure and transparency, the staff names are needed in order to help understand who had a hand in helping shape important public policy. The transition team "seat at the table" policy memo does not promise disclosure of their players at these official meetings.
Transition spokesman Nick Shapiro, asked to comment on the meeting listings, said
"We are constantly refining the cataloging and publishing process to offer the most current information possible.We started with documents received from external groups during meetings and have now begun updating the site to also include meetings that did not produce documents. No transition has ever attempted to implement such disclosure requirements, and we will continue to evaluate the policy and the process."
In the original column, I graded the transition "F" on disclosing meetings. There's some improvement. But a "D" is still not good.