Editor's Note

The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A look inside the AP's success, struggles with FOIA requests

During Sunshine Week, the AP recounts how it has used data from FOIA requests to break national stories. This story also lists the organization's frustrations with responds to FOIA requests. For example, the Homeland Security Department typically takes 58 days to respond to an expedited request but recently rejected an AP request for a speedy response by citing that it couldn't be that urgent because no other news organization had requested those documents.
President Barack Obama is promising to reinvigorate the Freedom of Information Act by opening more of the government's filing cabinets without a fight. It can't happen soon enough for the people awaiting replies to more than 150,000 requests for information.

Behind the headlines, The Associated Press wrestles with bizarre administrative hurdles and jaw-dropping contradictions trying to use the law; some recent ones are described below.

Obama has begun to deliver, but there are conflicting signs about how far he will go.

More here.

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