At his swearing-in ceremony on Janaury 21st, President Obama heralded "the beginning of a new era of openness in our country." He declared that "transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency." So the first day of the new presidency has been marked by a call for openness. But Ashcroft's infamous memorandum, despite its promise to shield those who refused FOIA requests "if there was any basis in law for doing so," does not completely change the ingrown agency culture that hoards information and delays publication. A General Accounting Office report in 2003 found that only 24% of the responding agencies were less likely to make discretionary disclosures of information because of the Ashcroft memorandum.
It remains to be seen if President Obama can implement policies that change agency culture and actually move the government not only to comply with the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act but towards proactive provision of government information. I wish him the best of luck.