Take Action. Demand Transparency.


 

Tell the SEC: Require Corporations to Disclose Political Spending

Big Business is secretly funneling millions of dollars into our political system.
Take action to protect democracy!

 

Derail the Trans-Pacific Partnership

TPP negotiations continue with the public locked out and details held in tight secrecy.
Urge U.S. Trade representative Ron Kirk to release the draft texts.

 

Tell Congress to Pass the DISCLOSE Act

The American public should know who is funding elections.
Email your members of Congress and encourage them to support the DISCLOSE Act (H.R. 4010).

Transparency and Litigation

Meaningful citizen participation depends on the public’s ability to access information. The Public Citizen Litigation Group works to increase government transparency, litigating more significant open government cases than any firm or organization in the country.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)


The Freedom of Information Act – often known by its acronym, FOIA – is a crucial tool that the public can use to access government documents. For decades, our attorneys have gone to court to ensure FOIA remains a robust remedy for citizens seeking information about government activities. We represent a wide variety of organizations, community groups, journalists, academics and other individuals seeking to obtain information under FOIA and other open government laws.

Learn about our work, see the cases we have been involved in and get a tutorial on how to file a FOIA request.

Other Government Transparency Statutes


Throughout our 40 years, we have worked to increase government transparency by litigating cases to enforce federal open government laws including the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Presidential Records Act, and the Federal Records Act.

Read about our cases on this topic.

Open Court Proceedings and Challenges to Protective Orders


Our system of government has a long tradition of courts that are open to the public. Open courts discourage judicial corruption and help ensure that all parties receive fair treatment. In addition, court files often include evidence about risks to public health and safety that a party prefers to keep secret. To ensure that our courts remain open and accountable, Public Citizen resists efforts by courts and litigants to seal court files.

Read about our cases on this topic.

Required Regulatory Disclosures


To protect consumers or to provide them with information pertinent to the consumer choice, the government sometimes require companies to make certain disclosures about their products. In response to industry challenges, Public Citizen has filed amicus briefs on behalf of consumer groups and health groups to support these disclosure requirements.

Read about our briefs in this area.

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Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation

 

Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.

 

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