AI Technology to Increase US Government Transparency

AI Technology to Increase US Government Transparency

AItechSlideRindha Sudhini

Student Intern at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies from Sept 2023 to Jan 2024


Historically, the federal government has been committed to promoting transparency through information access laws. One such law is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which allows citizens to request access to records from any federal agency. Even though these requests are meant to be a primary means of providing information to the public, the general citizenry is highly unlikely to attempt to use the FOIA. FOIA requests are a notoriously slow process, as most state and federal agencies do not employ digitization or automation techniques in their responses. Material marked “For Official Use Only” is also not subject to FOIA release. Manually entering requests, logging them through a spreadsheet, and requiring individual judgements are three factors that create an inefficient method of promoting a more accessible government.

Surveys by the Pew Research Center show that many Americans believe that the federal government can and should share more information with the public. This perceived lack of publicly available information shows that current measures to increase transparency are not working. It also alludes to a growing sense of distrust, as citizens continue to feel distance between themselves and the government. A fundamental psychological construct is that humans tend not to trust what they do not understand. The extent to which citizens are limited in accessing information about the government, therefore, fosters declining understanding of government proceedings and trust in government.

One possible solution is to employ artificial intelligence (AI) to deal with FOIA requests by facilitating speed and reliability in access and response, and, more broadly, engendering trust in governmental transparency. AI technology can accommodate a considerable volume and range of digital information and can increase the efficiency of government processes. Processes optimized for efficiency and such accessibility promote transparency.


See full article PDF here




©, 2016-2024, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, All rights reserved.

Most Read

From the CEO

Potomac Institute For Policy Studies CEO


STEPS (Online) ISSN: 2333-3200

STEPS (Print) ISSN: 2333-3219

STEPS Archives