From CNN Senior State Department Producer Elise Labott
The Obama administration sent two anonymous officials to brief reporters on their initiative to promote openness and transparency around the world.
President Obama will co-sponsor the Open Government Partnership, a club of 46 governments committed to promoting "transparency, increase civic participation, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to make government more open, effective, and accountable." according to the group's website.
The United States, along with Brazil, chairs the eight-nation steering committee.
The Obama administration is billing the initiative as a means to further its goals of strengthening democracy and human rights, fighting corruption, and promoting good governance.
But despite reporters' protests, officials conducting the briefing on the administration's work plan would only speak "on background."
Reporters questioned whether the conditions imposed on the briefing met the partnership's standards of transparency but were told the officials wanted to avoid upstaging the president (a common Washington maneuver for leaking news without going on the record) who was scheduled to speak at the inaugural meeting at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday .