Tester Recognized as a Champion for Transparency, Advocate for Public Access to Information

Senator Receives Prestigious 2017 James Madison Award from American Library Association

(U.S. Senate)-U.S. Senator Jon Tester today was recognized as one of the most transparent members of the U.S. Senate and an advocate for public access to government information.

Tester received the 2017 James Madison Award during Sunshine Week from the American Library Association for his work to increase the public’s ability to access government information, bring more transparency to elections, and disclose the details of secret government contracts.

“It is a true honor to receive this award. Throughout my time in the U.S. Senate, I have made it a priority to bring more transparency and accountability to Washington,” said Tester after receiving the award. “By shedding more light across the federal government and holding officials more accountable, we can eliminate waste and ensure that folks in Washington, D.C. are working more efficiently on behalf of all Americans.”

Tester was nominated for the award by Montana State University Assistant Professor Ann Ewbank. Ann is a former librarian and is the Director of Montana State University’s School Library Media Certificate Program.

“Senator Tester is richly deserving of this award,” Ewbank said. “His commitment to government transparency and open information was apparent from the day he assumed office by being the first Senator to publish his daily schedule online. During the Senator’s tenure, he has sponsored legislation that has solidified his pledge to make government practices fully accessible to Montanans and the American people.”

Tester is sponsoring the Public Online Information Act, which will make all public records from the Executive Branch permanently available on the Internet in a searchable database at no cost to constituents, and he is pushing to make public all of the private contracts within the VA over $100 million.

Tester sent a letter to President Trump earlier this week encouraging him to work with Republicans and Democrats to increase transparency in our democratic process.

Tester is also sponsoring multiple bills to increase transparency in political campaigns. He was the first Senator in history to post his daily public schedule online.

The American Library Association’s James Madison Award was established in 1989 to recognize individuals who have worked to protect and promote public access to government.