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Journalists Tell Oversight Committee: Bureaucrats Make FOIA Process ‘Useless’

Discussion in 'News & Current Events' started by Revmitchell, Jun 3, 2015.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Feb 18, 2006
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    Members of a House oversight committee were outraged during a bizarre hearing Tuesday in which congressmen listened to journalists discuss how government agencies intentionally botched formal requests for information.

    The reporters told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of numerous instances where agencies needlessly delayed, denied or redacted Freedom of Information Act requests. The FOIA guarantees the public access to all government documents, subject only to nine exemptions such as for privacy, commercial privilege and national security.

    The journalists also suggested that government employees who violate the FOIA law should be prosecuted. There are currently no consequences to bureaucrats who don’t abide by the statute that has been on the books since 1966....

    .....Chaffetz held up an April 2009 memo that ordered agencies to allow the White House to review any requested documents that involved “White House equities.” There is no provision in the FOIA for the assertion of such a White House privilege.

    “I don’t care who’s in the White House, it’s wrong, it’s wrong, it’s wrong,” Chaffetz shouted.

    He blamed the memo for at least part of the government’s steadily growing backlog of unanswered and incomplete FOIA requests and responses.