FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: EPA's internal FOIA review draws scrutiny

FOIA News (2018)Allan BlutsteinComment

EPA clamps down on document requests linked to Pruitt

‘This does look like the most burdensome review process that I’ve seen documented,’ one public records expert says.   

By Alex Guillan, Politico, May 6, 2018

Top aides to Scott Pruitt at the EPA are screening public records requests related to the embattled administrator, slowing the flow of information released under the Freedom of Information Act — at times beyond what the law allows.

Internal emails obtained by POLITICO show that Pruitt's political appointees reviewed documents collected for most or all FOIA requests regarding his activities, even as he’s drawn scrutiny for his use of first-class flights and undisclosed dealings with lobbyists.

While past administrations have given similar heads-ups to political aides for certain records requests, FOIA experts say this high-level vetting at EPA appears to have increased compared with the Obama era.

Read more here.  

[Comment:  High-level and burdensome vetting of FOIA requests indeed occured during the Obama era, notably at DHS and Treasury,   See https://www.nationalreview.com/2015/06/obama-administrations-newly-political-approach-foias-eliana-johnson/]