FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: Interior Secretary defends FOIA review procedure

FOIA News (2019)Allan BlutsteinComment

Bernhardt defends Interior Department’s public records review policy

By Tribune News Service, Austin Amer. Statesman, May 23, 2019  

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt defended on Wednesday the agency’s policy allowing politically appointed officials to review and comment on public records requests that relate to them.

Appearing before a Senate appropriations subcommittee to testify about his department’s budget, Bernhardt said the so-called “awareness review” policy was legal.

“It’s a process that’s very long-standing in the department,” Bernhardt told the committee. “We definitely formalized it,” he said. “It’s completely legal.

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