FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: Dep't of State's political leadership "neither reviews nor approves" releases of FOIA records, IG told Congress in 2010

FOIA News (2015-16)Allan BlutsteinComment

Following up on the Wall Street Journal's recent article (Hillary Clinton’s State Department Staff Kept Tight Rein on Records, May 19, 2015), which we posted on this site, it behooves us to at least point out that the Department of State's Inspector General reported the following "key judgments" in response to an August 2010 congressional inquiry into the role of political appointees in the FOIA process:    

 • OIG found no indication that Department of State (Department) political leadership approves, obstructs, or otherwise unduly influences the Department’s processing of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

• The Office of Information Programs and Services (A/GIS/IPS) carries out its FOIA mandate with great independence.

• A/GIS/IPS releases FOIA responses after clearance and approval at the office director level.

• A/GIS/IPS follows sound management practices, providing a weekly standard information memorandum through its chain of command to inform senior Department leadership about its wide range of information-related responsibilities, including FOIA activities.

The Inspector General further stated that "Department political leadership neither reviews nor approves, and does not direct the review or approval of, the release of information requested under FOIA."

Have a nice holiday weekend.