Tea party scandal brews FOIA backlog at FEC

By Dave Levinthal

Media and public wait for information from election agency as Congress seeks IRS-related information.

IMPACT: Rhode Island to publish more state records online

By Nicholas Kusnetz

IMPACT: New 'Transparency Portal' provides easy access to government data

Transparency in Texas: Dallas suburbs lead in attempts to deny public information requests

By Kelley Shannon

Dallas suburbs lead in attempts to deny public information requests

Excerpts from this story referencing "attorney general":

"… orted referral numbers that differed slightly from those obtained from the attorney general’s office.)Abbott is involved because, in most cases, Texas law requires …"

"… requires that governmental bodies seeking to withhold information ask the attorney general for permission to do so.McKinney, a suburb of 136,000 located north of Dal …"

"… do so.McKinney, a suburb of 136,000 located north of Dallas, asked for 441 attorney general rulings in 2011 to permit it to withhold government information. That’s …"

"… ling requests per 100,000 people. The city in the top 20 ranking lowest in attorney general submissions was Grand Prairie, with six requests per 100,000.“It’s goo …"

The state of open records laws: Access denied

By Caitlin Ginley

State statutes promise access to information, but are riddled with exemptions.

Maine governor, legislators use 'F' grade as opportunity to push reform

By Caitlin Ginley

Maine's government plans to take action after receiving a F on the State Integrity Investigation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting":

"… , Rep. Emily Cain (D-Orono), also reacted to the report card, and told the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting that it “may make sense to have some kind of bipartisan task force” to …"

Grading the nation: How accountable is your state?

By Caitlin Ginley

Our State Integrity Investigation reveals corruption risks in all 50 states

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wisconsin":

"… transparent processes for judicial recusal. But in at least one state — Wisconsin — the courts took what some believe to be a huge step backwards. In 2010 …"

"… sp;Other states don’t even try. During the 2011 redistricting session in Wisconsin, Republican legislators unveiled map proposals, held one public hearing, a …"

Justice backs new category of secret gov't files

By The Associated Press

Obama administration seeks to reinstitute 2011 Supreme Court ruling on FOIA requests

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama administration":

"… ews organizations and advocacy groups promote government transparency, the Obama administration urged Congress on Tuesday to keep secret a whole new category of informati …"

Government can't keep up with information requests

By The Associated Press

Obama administration responded to more requests than ever in 2011, but still lags behind

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama administration":

"… tal Service.By Associated Press writers Richard Lardner and Ted Bridis. …"

"… to keep up with that demand by devoting more resources to it."Even as the Obama administration increased its efforts, people submitted 587,815 requests for information i …"

Millions of federal court records are being destroyed to save money

By Maya Rhodan

National Archives and the Judiciary have begun destroying federal case records to cut costs

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics":

"… information once it is destroyed,” said Anne Weismann, chief counsel of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. She is also president of The American Society of Access Pro …"

State Department FOIA requests unanswered four long years later

By Josh Israel

President Obama promised more responsivenes but delays in processing Freedom of Information Act requests are still legendary

Judge orders FBI to cough up information about a previously secret computer drive

By Aaron Mehta

FBI must respond by June 30 to federal judge's order for info about hidden computer drives

White House visitor logs riddled with holes

By Fred Schulte and Viveca Novak

Obama touts release of Secret Service logs but data has huge gaps

Excerpts from this story referencing "Reginald Love":

"… .The practice appears to apply to the commander in chief in some instances.Reginald Love is recorded as receiving nearly 300 visits in the West Wing of the White H …"

FOIA performance is getting worse

By Laurel Adams

Despite promises for more government openness, the Obama administration actually approved fewer Freedom of Information Act requests for fede

EPA inspector general responds to FOIA review by Grassley and Issa

By Laurel Adams

The inspector general at the Environmental Protection Agency has issued a special report responding to a request by Sen. Charles Grassley an

Excerpts from this story referencing "inspector":

"… e also explains topic like human trafficking and laws in Spanish. (FBI) …"

"… tion Act requests.Last August, the Republican lawmakers sent letters to 29 inspectors general at government agencies, stemming from a media report that the Dep …"

"… urity was filtering and delaying politically-sensitive FOIA requests. Many inspectors general responded publicly that they did not find cases of political inte …"

"… d not find cases of political interference in the FOIA request process.The inspector general at the EPA reviewed a sample of 50 FOIA requests and found that se …"

White House sets "CUI" designation for sensitive government documents

By Amy Biegelsen

President Barack Obama’s new executive order creating a uniform category for federal documents that are sensitive but not classified is an a

A peek inside State Department's FOIA procedures

By Laurel Adams

The State Department uses retired Foreign Service officers to help determine what internal documents and memos can be released for Freedom o

Excerpts from this story referencing "Charles Grassley":

"… IA requests.”The new watchdog report was prepared after Republicans Sen. Charles Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa asked all federal inspectors general to review wheth …"

DOJ releases, then tries to reel back FOIA documents in Holocaust case

By Amy Biegelsen

A federal government ban on Holocaust survivors suing to collect on European insurance policies from that era may be on a shaky legal footin

Republicans ask watchdogs to review FOIA request process

By Laurel Adams

Inspectors general at the Energy Department and Social Security Administration say their review of FOIA procedures at the request of senior

Excerpts from this story referencing "Sunlight Foundation":

"… he Data Mine is a joint project of the Center for Public Integrity and the Sunlight Foundation. …"

FOIA, meet POIA: Advocates will push for it again in 2011

By Amy Biegelsen

Among the many legislative leftovers still sitting in the freezer as the 111th Congress adjourns, the Public Online Information Act (POIA) l

Excerpts from this story referencing "Sunlight Foundation":

"… not the government – pay for executive branch officials’ travel.The Sunlight Foundation, along with other government transparency advocates, supports the POIA bil …"

"… he Data Mine is a joint project of the Center for Public Integrity and the Sunlight Foundation. …"

SEC loses short-lived FOIA exemption in financial reform law

By Laurel Adams

In a victory for advocates of government transparency, Congress has voted to repeal a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemption for the Se

Excerpts from this story referencing "Democrats":

"… stice (DOJ) for possible criminal proceedings.”A bipartisan group led by Democrats Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Ted Kaufman of Delaware and by Republicans Ch …"

SEC hurries to clarify new FOIA exemption amid uproar

By Ariel Wittenberg

The head of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today insisted that language tucked inside the massive financial reform law does not

Description of citizenship database available – if you’re willing to pay nearly $112,000

By Nick Schwellenbach

After taking nearly four years to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request, the U.S. immigration agency is demanding $111,930 for rec

New House bill would put gov’t documents online

By Julie Vorman

No government information would be considered “public” unless it is posted on the Internet in user-friendly formats, according to a House bi

Government transparency under Obama misses the mark

By Jim Morris

To mark Sunshine Week, open-government groups are assessing President Barack Obama’s pledge to make the federal bureaucracy more open and le

Center files FOIA suit against Education Department

By Peter Newbatt Smith

On President Obama’s first full day in office, a White House news release announced that the president was “instruct[ing] all members of his

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama":

"… media. The Department has 30 days in which to file a response. …"

Despite new FOIA rules, old staff cuts may delay requests

By Te-Ping Chen

Since President Obama reversed former Attorney General John Ashcroft’s denial-prone directive on Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests

Filing a FOIA — How to get records out of the government

By Andrew Green

PaperTrail, as our name implies, delights in accessing government records and reports. Now, to celebrate the mid-point of Sunshine Week, her

Let the sun shine In during Sunshine Week

By Andrew Green

This marks one of PaperTrail’s favorite weeks of the year. No, not Spring Break. Sunshine Week....

New attitude towards FOIA, but who’s going to clear the backlog?

By Kat Aaron

President Obama sent a clear message to government officials in one of his first acts in office: From now on, we will comply with the spirit

Excessive executive secrecy

By The Center for Public Integrity

More documents are classified under Bush despite initial promises of openness

Excerpts from this story referencing "Vice President":

"… d to share with Congress information pertaining to, among other areas, the Vice President’s National Energy Policy Development Group. The cost to taxpayers of sec …"