The Obama administration’s decision to call public attention to universities under investigation over their sexual assault policies could be a major turning point in the fight over government transparency, prompting similar openness about probes into companies and other institutions facing federal inquiries on issues ranging from civil rights to the environment.
The focus remains on investigating the crimes themselves and the debate continues about whether colleges are doing enough to fight rape and sexual assault on campuses. But for transparency advocates, the decision was a welcome surprise to those pushing for years to see President Barack Obama do more to fulfill his promise to bring unprecedented openness to the federal government.
And it set up what could be a game-changing precedent.
Virtually every government agency has some office to field complaints that recipients of…
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