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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… of April Sands, a former FEC attorney accused of campaigning for President Barack Obama while on the job. An FEC report indicates the agency "generally receives …"

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 "legal services":

"… ’d want to know why,” said Michael Schneider, director of newsroom and legal services for the Texas Association of Broadcasters.“They are the public records, …"

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":

"… iving an F grade on the State Integrity Investigation for corruption risk, Maine’s governor and state leaders plan to take legislative action. Maine rank …"

"… isk, Maine’s governor and state leaders plan to take legislative action. Maine ranks 46th among the 50 states.Gov. Paul LePage said in a statement t …"

"… te contracts.  “This is the direction we need to move in to improve Maine’s grade,” LePage said. “It’s clear that many states struggle with …"

"… it is an issue that I will continue to work on improving on behalf of the Maine taxpayer.” The bill has been approved in committee, but has not yet reac …"

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 "New Jersey":

"… an A grade from the months-long probe. Only five states earned a B grade: New Jersey, Connecticut, Washington, California and Nebraska. Nineteen states got C …"

"… he State Integrity Investigation seem more than a little counterintuitive. New Jersey emerges at the top of the pack, a seemingly stunning ranking for a state w …"

"… nd statehouses with a history of political corruption and scandal — like New Jersey, Illinois, and Louisiana — have been more likely in recent years to succ …"

"… the nonprofit advocacy group Common Cause.That’s apparently the case in New Jersey, where a series of scandals helped bring about some of the strongest ethic …"

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

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 "Office of Science and Technology Policy":

"… t, Office of National Drug Control Policy, Office of Personnel Management, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Securities and Exchange …"

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

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Clark Waddoups":

"… istence of the S-drive — the first public mention of such a drive. Judge Clark Waddoups, a George W. Bush appointee who was presiding over the case in Utah, order …"

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 "Federation of American Scientists":

"… aid Steven Aftergood, director of the project on government secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. He called the White House visitor logs “very thin gruel.”A White Hous …"

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

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "reporter":

"… ion of former Vice President Dick Cheney who, according to Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman, would stamp papers “Treat As” classified when the offi …"

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

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "House committee":

"… was a direct result of the fact that DOJ hid the ball,” Dubbin told the House committee in September.Special panel handles European insurance claimsWhy can’t a …"

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

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

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

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "financial reform law":

"… Exchange Commission today insisted that language tucked inside the massive financial reform law does not give the agency a broad exemption from Freedom of Information Act …"

"… also surprised by the provision that had been unnoticed in the 2,300-page financial reform law. “I’ve had members of Congress call me to ask ‘what did we do?’” …"

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

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

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