FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: Trump's Budget Declares War on FOIA

FOIA News (2017)Ryan MulveyComment

Trump's Budget Declares War on FOIA

The FOIA Blog, Mar. 2, 2017

The Washington Post reports that the current administration plans to make huge cuts in all non defense agencies in its proposed budget.  These drastic cuts are clearly a declaration of war on a number of things that assist democracy, including an all out attack on the FOIA.  The FOIA is not a line item in agency budgets that are approved by Congress.  FOIA funds come out of regular operations of the agencies and the agencies allocate the resources based on what money they have coming in.  As such, FOIA operations, in the best of times need to fight to keep up with the number of requests entering the FOIA process.  Now, with some cuts at agencies reported to be up to 20% (EPA), agencies will be forced to cut their already bare bones FOIA operations - this will result in slower response times to requesters.  It is likely that in many cases, only those requesters who resort to the courts will get their FOIA requests processed in a somewhat timely manner.  Even if not its desired effect, this budget proposal is an all out assault on transparency.  Hopefully, bipartisan members of Congress, who came together in 2016 to pass amendments to the FOIA, will fight back over the draconian cuts that the proposed budget will bring to counter the administration's War On FOIA.

Read the original post here.