You’d think that if you were going to get a timely and adequate response to a
But if you thought that, you'd be wrong.
According to the FOIA Project, operated by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, the Office of Information Policy was one of 10 agencies that failed to adequately respond to a basic FOIA request, a remarkable failure rate -- that's nearly half of the 21 agencies queried. Only seven of the agencies fully complied in a timely manner.
And what information was sought in those FOIA requests? "We asked for copies of the electronic files the FOIA offices themselves use to keep track of FOIA requests," according to the FOIA Project's website. Each agency got the same request, all submitted via the method each agency said it preferred (email, fax, or an online system).
The most responsive departments were the Army, Bureau of Land Management, Department of Homeland Security, the
Three agencies never responded at all: the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and two Justice Department offices, the Executive Office for United States Attorneys and the National Security Division.
And remember, this isn't government information -- it's the American public's information. But it shouldn't be a surprise that compliance is so weak under the Obama administration which, despite the president's promises of openness, could well go down as one of the most secretive administrations in U.S. history.