Editorial: FOIA means freedom from overcharging

This week marks the 150th anniversary of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. In arguably Lincoln’s most memorable speech, the Gettysburg Address, he uttered the words, “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Government is designed to protect our communities, educate our children, and keep our air and water clean.

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New documents reveal little about 2014 Bundy-BLM clash

Plodding along seemingly slower than desert tortoises that spawned the dispute between Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management more than 20 years ago, the BLM has finally provided a watchdog group with a few dozen pages of documents under a Freedom of Information Act request.

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Opinion: Obama administration agrees with Sunlight: Agencies should disclose what data they keep private

Last week, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) posted updated guidance to the Project Open Data Github for agencies as they continue to compile indexes of their data holdings. Agencies are now instructed to “Include all ‘non-public’ data assets in their PDL [Public Data Listing], in addition to the ‘public’ and ‘restricted’ data assets that have long been required.” It also tells agencies to fully explain the reasons for "non-public" designations and redactions in the metadata.

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Chicago not releasing video of officer-involved shooting

Months after a teenager was shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer, the city is still refusing to release the dash-cam video of the fatal shooting and didn’t even show it to aldermen Wednesday before they approved a $5 million settlement with the family.

The October 2014 shooting death of Laquon McDonald hasn’t generated the same kind of national attention as other recent high-profile confrontations involving officers. After some, in such places as South Carolina, Oklahoma and Arizona, video was released that quickly went viral.

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DHS: FOIA Requests Up 182 Percent Under Obama – 5.7 Percent Are Fully Granted

The Department of Homeland Security has experienced a 182 percent increase in the number of requests it receives under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) since President Obama first took office in 2009, according to the DHS 2014 Freedom of Information Act Report published Thursday.

The DHS says it received a record 291,242 FOIA requests in fiscal year 2014, spending about $51.5 million to process and fill them. It fully granted only 16,651 of these requests, or about 5.7 percent, partially granted another 128,603, and denied 6,212 requests, the report stated.

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US EPA Escapes Sanctions But Incurs Judge’s Wrath For Deficient FOIA Responses

In a March 2, 2015 decision, Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the US District Court for the District of Columbia denied requested spoliation sanctions against US EPA but blasted the Agency for its “continued disregard” for its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) obligations and “offensively unapologetic” actions in response to claims of insufficiency.

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State Dept. Overwhelmed by ‘Crushing’ Number of FOIA Requests

The State Department says is it overwhelmed by an increasing number of Freedom of Information Act requests, which it is struggling to process, Politico reports.

Adding to the deluge of requests, FOIA lawsuits have risen 60 percent over the last fiscal year, Politico noted of the increases, which if continued at the current pace could hit a 93 percent increase by year's end.

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