FOIA's Report Card

Friday, March 14, 2014

Transcript

The Freedom of Information Act has been around since 1966, but according to a new report card, federal agencies haven’t yet mastered the art of disclosing. Brooke speaks with Sean Moulton of the Center for Effective government, which just released The Access to Information Scorecard 2014, a sobering look at government transparency.

Guests:

Sean Moulton

Hosted by:

Brooke Gladstone

Comments [2]

Karen from Ohio

Seems to me, unless something is undergoing legal battles, ALL information with all taxpayer based branches of govt ( which is ALL of them) must be available online, then no one needs to ask under FOIA for you all to send the information, we have already paid for, to us who request it. Why is everything a secret? You are doing something that is not secret, taking water and air samples, writing reports, investigating complaints, studying specific deaths in particular areas....all that needs to be public if nit in the midst of legal battles. I know of an EPA person who had to fight with EPA to make them do the right thing as children had died as a result of a school being built on a munitions dump. EPA was hiding that fact......months later, $$$$$ later, he won his lawsuit to keep his job as he had blown the whistle on EPA keeping imp info private and hush hush. If all info was public via the internet then you would not be under the gun working so hard to get us our info. More work, harder work, to hide it then it is to maintain it open to scrutiny.

Mar. 16 2014 07:37 PM

I work for EPA and can only speak for my agency. I don't know how we scored in this information scorecard, but I do know that we are overwhelmed with time-consuming FOIA requests. We are an understaffed agency, working long hours to do our jobs (most EPA staff being committed to our mission of protecting human health and the environment). What we are seeing is overburdened legal and technical staff who have to spend hours and hours, on top of our actual substantive work, dealing with FOIA. If Congress and the public want the agencies to spend more time releasing information, give us the resources to do this. I suspect that Congress really is happy to place another burden on EPA. As for the public, I understand the desire for information, but people, keep in mind that you can only stretch an agency so far before it breaks.

Mar. 14 2014 08:31 PM

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