FOI DAILY DOSE: Gov limousine increase and Federal Reserve disclosure hearing

Limousines, limousines and more limousines

During an economic crisis, wasteful spending can seem like Public Enemy No. 1.

Public records can provide a great way to check on how local, state and federal governments are spending their funds.

The Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News did just that. Sifting through records revealed that one of the federal government’s extravagances as of late has been the purchase of extra fancy cars. Limousines, to be exact.

U.S. General Services Administration records showed that, during the Obama administration, the number of limos increased from 238 in the federal fleet in fiscal year 2008 to 412 in 2010.

From 2008, the last year of George W. Bush’s presidency, to 2010, there was a 73 percent increase in the number of federal limousines. Obama began his presidency in 2009, serving in the Oval Office for eight months. It was also in 2009 that the largest increase in limos occurred.

Some of the ’09 additions could have been part of previous requests from the Bush administration.

According to GSA, however, these limousine numbers aren’t reliable because ‘limousine’ is not a well-defined term and could include vehicles such as sedans. Overall federal fleet numbers are recorded every year.

Hearing on Federal Reserve transparency today

The Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology Subcommittee, chaired by Ron Paul and part of the House Financial Services Committee, will hold a hearing on transparency within the Federal Reserve today at 2 p.m. in Washington, D.C.

The event will focus on the information on emergency lending facilities, open market regulations and other topics that the Fed disclosed in order to comply with the Dodd-Frank Act and FOIA.

Also up for discussion is how the Federal Reserve will make future disclosures as demanded by Dodd-Frank Act provisions.

– Morgan Watkins

Morgan Watkins is SPJ’s summer Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information intern and a University of Florida student. Reach her by email ( or connect with her on Twitter (@morganwatkins26).

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