FOIA Advisor

Testing

FOIA News: Wall Street Journal Editorial Board weighs in on transparency of Obama administration

FOIA News (2015-16)Kevin SchmidtComment

The Least Transparent Administration

How Team Obama stymies freedom of information requests.

By Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal, June 2, 2015

A federal judge last week excoriated the State Department for sitting on Hillary Clinton’s emails, ordering it to release batches every 30 days. The State Department deserved the rebuke, but then it is merely following the rules laid down by the least transparent Administration in history.

The House Oversight Committee on Tuesday began a two-day hearing into the extraordinary ways the Obama Administration keeps undermining the Freedom of Information Act. Enacted in 1966, FOIA allows anyone to request information about any matter from a federal agency. The agency has 20 business days to respond (10 more in unusual circumstances), and the bar is set deliberately high for what government may withhold or redact.

Most Administrations play games with FOIA, but the Obama White House has turned stonewalling into an art form. A favorite tactic is to ignore or string out the requests. That’s what State did in Mrs. Clinton’s case, claiming it simply couldn’t get around to issuing her emails until next year. A court order was needed to get it to move, and that’s typical across the Administration.

Read more here.