Monday, March 16, 2015

Obama's White House Sets Record for Withholding Government Files-Deletes Its FOIA Regulations

Timing and Touchstones .......

First  Obama, Holder Hailed for Openness at Transparency Celebration
'The Department of Justice hosted a 40-minute Sunshine Week transparency celebration Monday, in which the nation's leaders were credited with expanding access to government records.'  
'But in the Great Hall of the Department of Justice’s Washington headquarters, Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder won repeated praise as agents of transparency'
This is the same Holder that LIED about SPYING on the press, and it only gets better......

Cracking down on whistle-blowers and not granting FOIA requests is hypocrisy,
Obama Admin Denied More FOIA Requests in 2013 Than It Approved 

 and to top it off  ....

From USA Today 5:23 p.m. EDT March 16, 2015

WASHINGTON — The White House is removing a federal regulation that subjects its Office of Administration to the Freedom of Information Act, making official a policy under Presidents Bush and Obama to reject requests for records to that office. 
The White House said the cleanup of FOIA regulations is consistent with court rulings that hold that the office is not subject to the transparency law. The office handles, among other things, White House record-keeping duties like the archiving of e-mails. 
But the timing of the move raised eyebrows among transparency advocates, coming on National Freedom of Information Day and during a national debate over the preservation of Obama administration records. It's also Sunshine Week, an effort by news organizations and watchdog groups to highlight issues of government transparency. 

"The irony of this being Sunshine Week is not lost on me," said Anne Weismann of the liberal Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW. 
"It is completely out of step with the president's supposed commitment to transparency," she said. "That is a critical office, especially if you want to know, for example, how the White House is dealing with e-mail."
Read more at USA Today

Update on 03/18/2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration set a record again for censoring government files or outright denying access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press.  
The government took longer to turn over files when it provided any, said more regularly that it couldn't find documents and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy. 
It also acknowledged in nearly 1 in 3 cases that its initial decisions to withhold or censor records were improper under the law — but only when it was challenged.
Its backlog of unanswered requests at year's end grew remarkably by 55 percent to more than 200,000. It also cut by 375, or about 9 percent, the number of full-time employees across government paid to look for records. That was the fewest number of employees working on the issue in five years.