The federal government no longer cares about disclosing public information
By Justin Elliott, Washington Post, Mar. 13, 2016
Two years ago last month, I filed a public-records request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency as part of my reporting into the flawed response to Hurricane Sandy. Then, I waited.
The Freedom of Information Act requires a response within 20 business days, but agencies routinely blow that deadline. Eight months later, ProPublica and NPR published our investigation into the Sandy response, but it did not include any documents from FEMA. The agency had simply never gotten back to me.
Finally, this Feb. 10 — 492 business days past the law’s 20-day deadline — I got a curious phone call from FEMA. The agency was starting a “clean search” for the documents I asked for, because the original search “was not done properly.”
Read more here.