Alex Goldman is a producer for On the Media. One time he got run over by a car.
A FOIA of a FOIA about FOIA
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 12:46 PM
As part of an investigation into the efficacy of Freedom of Information Act requests, Darrell Issa, a California Republican and the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform FOIA'd 180 government agencies for information on who is making FOIA requests, what kinds of documents they were looking for, and what kind of responses the agencies gave. Sort of a FOIA request about FOIA requests. Pretty meta, right? Well, it's about to get ... uh ... meta-er. According to a post at the New York Times Caucus Blog, a non-profit organization called Government Attic essentially FOIA'd Issa's FOIA about FOIA:
The group went in behind Mr. Issa, and asked federal agencies to give Government Attic a copy of responses the agencies had prepared for Mr. Issa, essentially doing an F.O.I.A. request on Mr. Issa’s own F.O.I.A. request. So far, nearly 50 federal agencies have responded to the nonprofit group, which on Monday posted the releases with little fanfare or commentary.
“Chairman Issa’s interest in the F.O.I.A. process proved informative,” the Web site says in a brief introduction. “The material submitted by agencies in response to the committee request presents a unique snapshot of F.O.I.A.”
Over at Government Attic, there's a lot to wade through, but the responses from the government agencies are pretty interesting and give you some insight into their responsiveness and policies regarding Freedom of Information Act requests. Go over there and take a look by following this link.