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FOIA News: GAO to study FOIA litigation costs

FOIA News (2015-16)Allan BlutsteinComment

Lawmakers: How much money are feds wasting on FOIA suits?

By Mario Trujillo, The Hill, May 22, 2015

Bipartisan leaders on the Senate Judiciary Committee want to know how much money the government wastes during litigation to withhold government documents from public disclosure. 

Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.) on Friday asked the Government Accountability Office to determine how much money the government spends on Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits in which it substantially lost or voluntarily relented. 

"Withholding information from the public unless sued undermines the very spirit of FOIA and wastes significant taxpayer money in the process," the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Gene Dodaro, the U.S. comptroller general. 

Media organizations and other transparency groups have criticized the executive brach for its tendency to withhold some documents from public records requests until a group is forced to sue. Among the numerous FOIA lawsuits in the courts are multiple ones relating to Hillary Clinton's emails during her time at the State Department.

Read more here.