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 "Internal Revenue Service":

"… Federal Election Commission with demands for information connected to the Internal Revenue Service tea party targeting scandal and the unrelated political activities of a fo …"

IMPACT: Rhode Island to publish more state records online

By Nicholas Kusnetz

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Transparency":

"… tional reputation, and increase our economic competitiveness.”The new “Transparency Portal” provides easy access to government financial data and documents. …"

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

The state of open records laws: Access denied

By Caitlin Ginley

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Terry Branstad":

"… e for celebration — sort of.Indeed, there were smiles all around as Gov. Terry Branstad signed the law on May 3 in the ornate Capitol Building, surrounded by lawm …"

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.

Grading the nation: How accountable is your state?

By Caitlin Ginley

Our State Integrity Investigation reveals corruption risks in all 50 states

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 "Supreme Court":

"… aw for at least 10 years.Pustay told the Senate Judiciary Committee that a Supreme Court ruling in March 2011 narrowed an exemption under the records law and left …"

"… er his family and neighbors were at risk of being blown up.Pustay said the Supreme Court decision put at risk "a wide range of sensitive material whose disclosure …"

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 "Federal Election Commission":

"… Federal Communications Commission, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Election Commission, Federal Trade Commission, NASA, National Science Foundation, National Tra …"

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 "prosecutor":

"… on is made public and what is kept secret — even from federal judges and prosecutors. Starting in 1996, the bureau began keeping files on something known …"

"… rives in their case files, the FBI is withholding information from federal prosecutors as well. While that would seem counter intuitive, King said it’s simply …"

"… “The bureau has its own culture, and part of that culture is helping the prosecutor out by not messing up the case by not giving info that would hurt the case …"

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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… rts, and friends of the first family, according to an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity.The White House website proudly boasts of making available “over 1,000,0 …"

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

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 "Europe":

"… group. …"

"… tizen’s attempt to collect on insurance policies his father purchased in Europe before surviving imprisonment in Auschwitz and Dachau during World War II. …"

"… usive forum for the resolution” of Holocaust survivors’ claims against European insurers.Among the documents that the government wants returned is a mem …"

"… all,” Dubbin told the House committee in September.Special panel handles European insurance claimsWhy can’t a U.S. citizen go to court to fight a Europe …"

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 "Frederick Hill":

"… ee will wait for their findings before releasing all the information, said Frederick Hill, a spokesman for the House panel. He declined to say how many inspectors g …"

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Patrick Leahy":

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

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

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Privacy":

"… or federal and state records under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act, as well as under state statutes.Getting files under FOIA has historic …"

"… your request.• To gain access to your own files, make requests under the Privacy Act. Check the National Freedom of Information Coalition site under the Sa …"

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