Obama’s final year: US spent $36 million in records lawsuits

The Obama administration in its final year in office spent a record $36.2 million on legal costs defending its refusal to turn over federal records under the Freedom of Information Act, according to an Associated Press analysis of new U.S. data that also showed poor performance in other categories measuring transparency in government.

For a second consecutive year, the Obama administration set a record for times federal employees told citizens, journalists and others that despite searching they couldn't find a single page of files that were requested.

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Opinion: Making dollars and sense of DOJ’s new FOIA fee rule

When the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) revised its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regulations last month, it adopted language that might inflate requesters’ FOIA costs across all agencies. Fortunately, its rule is not the final word on what a requester lawfully can be charged to compel prompt disclosure of unclassified federal records.

Legislative background and hierarchy

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