30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

United States and Canada

Mar 22, 2007 | News
Washington DC, March 22, 2007 - At a hearing of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment on "Over-classification and Pseudo-classification: The Impact on Information Sharing," Archive General Counsel Meredith Fuchs testified Thursday that serious overuse of pseudo-classification markings persists. "We are long overdue for solving the challenges of information sharing and overcoming the strain on government accountability brought about by excessive secrecy," she said.
Mar 16, 2007 | News
Washington D.C., 16 March 2007 - The U.S. Air Force today won the third annual Rosemary Award, which recognizes the worst Freedom of Information Act performance by a federal agency. Given annually by the Emmy-and George Polk Award-winning National Security Archive, the Rosemary Award is named after President Nixon's secretary Rosemary Woods and the backwards-leaning stretch which she testified resulted in her erasing eighteen-and-a-half minutes from a key Watergate conversation on the White House tapes. Today’s Rosemary Award citation quotes the U.S.
Mar 14, 2007 | News
Washington DC, March 14, 2007 - National Security Archive General Counsel Meredith Fuchs today testified before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary in support of a FOIA reform bill introduced yesterday by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX). The OPEN Government Act of 2007 is “critical for improving the functioning of FOIA,” according to Ms. Fuchs’s statement. Ms.
Mar 13, 2007 | News
The American ideal of open government has reached critical condition and needs intensive care. We have enough lab results to know the news is bad: *The oldest still-pending Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request is old enough to join the Army and go to Iraq (18 years). *Backlogs on FOIA requests keep rising while the number of civil servants who the government assigns to FOIA keeps dropping — could there be a connection?
Mar 12, 2007 | Briefing Book, FOIA Audit
Washington D.C., 12 March 2007 - Ten years after Congress enacted the Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments (E-FOIA), only one in five federal agencies actually complies with the law, according to a new survey released today during Sunshine Week by the National Security Archive. Passed in 1996 and effective in 1997, E-FOIA ordered federal agencies to post key records online, provide citizens with detailed guidance on making information requests, and use new information technology to publish information proactively.
Mar 1, 2007 | News
Washington DC, March 1, 2007 - Since 2001, the government has added five years of delay into the process of releasing presidential records, according to testimony delievered today by Archive executive director Thomas Blanton before the House Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census and National Archives. These are statistics from the Reagan Presidential Library - their official estimates of response times that they send to you when you request documents. The delay has risen from 18 months in 2001 to 78 months today.
Feb 14, 2007 | News
Washington DC, February 14, 2007 - National Security Archive General Counsel Meredith Fuchs today told the Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that, "problems [with the Freedom of Information Act system] will not be solved unless Congress mandates solutions." Ms. Fuchs recommended that Congress reform the FOIA to require better annual reporting and tracking of FOIA requests, citing examples of processing delays as long as 17 years and agency mismanagement or obstruction of requests causing delay.
Feb 7, 2007 | News
Washington DC, February 7, 2007 - The CIA's proposed new rule on Freedom of Information Act processing fees is likely to discourage FOIA requesters while imposing new administrative burdens both on the Agency and the public, according to formal comments filed with the CIA today by the National Security Archive of George Washington University. The Archive's general counsel, Meredith Fuchs, commented that, "Significant time, money, and other resources were spent by the CIA on fee disputes last year. One of those disputes involved the CIA's refusal to abide by a D.C.
Nov 24, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., November 24, 2006 - On November 25, 1986, the biggest political and constitutional scandal since Watergate exploded in Washington when President Ronald Reagan told a packed White House news conference that funds derived from covert arms deals with the Islamic Republic of Iran had been diverted to buy weapons for the U.S.-backed Contra rebels in Nicaragua. In the weeks leading up to this shocking admission, news reports had exposed the U.S.
Nov 10, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., November 10, 2006 - Bush administration nominee for Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates had a long career in government which showed a notable combination of ambition and caution, according to a new book by Archive senior analyst John Prados [Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2006)] which deals with Gates among its much wider coverage of the agency since its inception.

Pages