Obama's White House Sets New Record in Rejecting FOIA Requests
Obama administration censored and denied access to government data more than ever in 2014, despite claims of 'most transparent presidency' ever
For the second year in a row, the Obama administration has set a record in rejecting Freedom of Information Act requests, according to new analysis published Tuesday by the Associated Press.
AP president Gary Pruitt criticized the government for its evasive policies in a column released last week. "What we discovered reaffirmed what we have seen all too frequently in recent years," Pruitt wrote. "The systems created to give citizens information about their government are badly broken and getting worse all the time."
Under the president's instructions, the U.S. should not withhold or censor government files merely because they might be embarrassing, but federal employees last year regularly misapplied the law. In emails that AP obtained from the National Archives and Records Administration about who pays for Michelle Obama's expensive dresses, the agency blacked-out a sentence under part of the law intended to shield personal, private information, such as Social Security numbers, phone numbers or home addresses. But it failed to censor the same passage on a subsequent page.
The sentence: "We live in constant fear of upsetting the WH (White House)."