DC, October 19, 2006 - Today the National
Security Archive responded to the "Attorney General's Report
to the President Pursuant to Executive Order 13,392, Entitled
'Improving Agency Disclosure of Information'" by providing
the Attorney General and Congress an assessment
of some of the serious challenges not acknowledged in the Report
and calling for congressional oversight hearings to make optimistic
FOIA processing goals a reality.
General's Report in rosy terms lauds the Executive
Order as "a strong step in improving the government-wide
administration of a law that is of widespread interest and concern."
Yet the Report is merely an overview of 91 individual FOIA improvement
plans drafted by federal agencies. It fails to acknowledge that
many of the admirable goals set by the agencies can only be
met with an increased commitment of resources -- which the Executive
Order makes clear is not being considered by the Administration.
Further, many of the most intractable interagency problems,
such as the sending of FOIA requests to other agencies on referral
or for consultation, are not addressed at all, thus highlighting
the absence of any cross-agency authority over FOIA policy matters.
In separate letters to key members of the two principal congressional
committees with oversight responsibility for FOIA, the Senate
Judiciary Committee and the House
Government Reform Committee, the National Security
Archive details some of the serious deficiencies acknowledged
in the agencies' individual FOIA improvement plans - including
the lack of basic technology such as copiers and Internet access
and the failure of many agencies to satisfy the terms of the
1996 E-FOIA Amendments. The Archive calls on Congress to hold
hearings that would determine whether any genuine progress is
being made in the administration of FOIA.
The following documents are in PDF format.
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General's Report to the President Pursuant to Executive Order
13,392, Entitled 'Improving Agency Disclosure of Information,'"
October 16, 2006
Security Archive Letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales,
October 19, 2006
Security Archive Letter to Rep. Tom Davis, Rep. Henry A. Waxman,
Rep. Todd Platts, Rep. Christopher Shays, House Committee on
Government Reform, October 19, 2006
Security Archive Letter to Senator Arlen Specter, Senator Patrick
Leahy, Senator John Cornyn, Senate Committee on the Judiciary,
October 19, 2006