Skip to content

Congress Seeks Explanation from DOJ on Outdated Agency FOIA Regulations

February 6, 2013
Representatives Issa and Cummings, cosignatories of the February 4 letter to OIP.

Representatives Issa and Cummings, cosignatories of the February 4 letter to OIP.

On February 4, 2013, Representatives Darrell E. Issa and Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform respectively, sent a letter to the Department of Justice’s Office of Information Policy Director (OIP), Melanie Ann Pustay, seeking explanations for outdated agency FOIA regulations. The Archive’s FOIA Regulations Audit was cited as evidence that agencies are not living up to either President Obama’s or Attorney General Eric Holder’s FOIA guidelines.

The letter asks Ms. Pustay to explain, among other things, the following:

  • Why has the Department of Justice, the government-wide standard-bearer for FOIA practices, not updated its own FOIA regulations since 2003?
  • What is Ms. Pustay’s office doing to “ensure agencies are complying with the OPEN Government Act provisions concerning FOIA when assessing fees and determining eligibility for fee waivers?”
  • Has OIP taken any actions to limit the use of FOIA exemptions, specifically Exemption 3?
  • What steps has OIP taken to ensure agencies use exemptions only when necessary, and in compliance with the Attorney General’s guidelines?
*****

“31 agencies have regulations more than a decade old.”

OIP is compelled to reply to the letter no later than February 22, 2013. The National Security Archive is thrilled to see such swift Congressional attention to this incredibly important issue, and looks forward to OIP’s response.

About these ads
One Comment leave one →
  1. February 24, 2013 3:10 pm

    I am glad to see that FOIA requests are supposed to be replied to within a time limit. I also worry that the FOIA can possibly be used for a disiformation campaign.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 450 other followers

%d bloggers like this: