United States and Canada
Mar 13, 2007 | News br>
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 br>
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 7, 2007 | Briefing Book br>
Washington D.C., March 7, 2007 - The declassified documents introduced as evidence during the trial of Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, provide an almost unprecedented window into Mr. Cheney's own role as the most powerful vice president in history, according to National Security Archive director Tom Blanton this morning on NPR's Morning Edition. To listen, click on http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7750388 This posting also includes the actual documents discussed today.
Mar 1, 2007 | News br>
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 br>
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 br>
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 br>
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 br>
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.
Oct 19, 2006 | News br>
Washington 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.
VA Takes Nine Months to Locate Data on Disability Claims by Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan WarsOct 10, 2006 | News br>
Washington DC, October 10, 2006 - One in four veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars are filing disability claims, according to records released by the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) under the Freedom of Information Act after nine months of denying their existence and posted today on the National Security Archive Web site.