FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: Washington Times Editorial Board on the State Department's FOIA Backlog

FOIA News (2015-16)Kevin SchmidtComment

Slow-walking in Foggy Bottom

By Editorial Board, Washington Times, Sept. 13, 2016

Mr. Kennedy is overseeing an explosion of FOIA requests that has left the department swamped with a backlog of 30,000 cases. Compliance rules require a response within 20 days but because of the backlog, the department is taking more than 500 days to answer requests. Documents pertaining to foreign governments require review for sensitive information, which can result in reclassification after the fact, a practice which Hillary argues contributed to the criticism of her handling of classified documents.

The State Department has urged Congress to exempt material dealing with foreign governments from FOIA requests to end the need to review sensitive material prior to its release. If there is anything to be learned from the slippery behavior that has plagued Foggy Bottom in the wake of Mrs. Clinton’s shoddy leadership, it’s that Americans want more transparency, not less. Most of all they want leaders who don’t lie to them.

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