THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
ON ITS 37TH BIRTHDAY
than 2 million FOIA requests filed at a yearly cost of just
over $1 per citizen.
releases selection of "Top Twenty" news stories based
on the FOIA.
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book Number
Edited by Meredith Fuchs, Barbara Elias, and Thomas Blanton
Posted 4 July 2003
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 4 - George Washington University's
National Security Archive, the leading non-profit user of the U.S.
Freedom of Information Act, today released its annual Freedom of
Information Act birthday posting, 37 years to the day after President
Johnson grudgingly signed the U.S. FOIA into law on July 4, 1966.
The Archive reported that documents released under federal, state
and local freedom of information acts sparked more than 6,000
news stories in 2002 and the first half of 2003 (according to
the Archive's searches of on-line databases), including revelations
of major public interest such as the use of electronic highway
toll data in criminal, administrative and civil probes, the failure
of government agencies to prosecute water pollution violations,
the misuse of federal student aid, defective military airplanes,
and the loss of explosives, mines, mortars and firearms from U.S.
stockpiles. The report features an itemized
list of 20 significant news stories from the last 18 months
that cited documents obtained through the Freedom of Information
In addition, the Archive posted one-page
summaries of 35 major federal agencies that include correct,
up-to-date listings of the FOIA contacts, as well as information
on FOIA appeals and other useful information for accessing records
from the agencies. The Archive website also includes key documents
on the history
of the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, Phase
One of the Archive's Freedom of Information Audit, the most
Accounting Office assessments of the FOIA and E-FOIA, a User's
Guide to FOIA, sample
FOIA request and appeal letters, and guidance from the Archive's
experts on how to use the FOIA.