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FOIA News: A House Committee Doesn't Want You To See Its Correspondence With Government Officials

FOIA News (2017)Kevin SchmidtComment

A House Committee Doesn't Want You To See Its Correspondence With Government Officials

By Mary Ann Georgantopoulos and Daniel Wagner, Buzzfeed, May 5, 2017

The Chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services sent a letter last month to the head of the Treasury Department instructing him to decline Freedom of Information requests relating to communications between the two offices, a letter that open records advocates called "deeply troubling."

Congressman Jeb Hensarling, a Republican from Texas and the committee's chair, sent letter dated April 3 to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Also included on the letter were Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee Maxine Waters, Director of the Office of Financial Research Richard Berner, and the Director of the Federal Insurance Office Michael McRaith.

The letter reads that since the Committee on Financial Services has legislative and oversight jurisdiction over the Treasury Department, all records of communication between the two offices and any documents produced remain in the committee's control — even when in the physical possession of the Treasury Department.

Read more here.