National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

US government sets record for failures to find files when asked

The Obama administration set a record for the number of times its federal employees told disappointed citizens, journalists and others that despite searching they couldn't find a single page requested under the Freedom of Information Act, according to a new Associated Press analysis of government data.

In more than one in six cases, or 129,825 times, government searchers said they came up empty-handed last year. Such cases contributed to an alarming measurement: People who asked for records under the law received censored files or nothing in 77 percent of requests, also a record. In the first full year after President Barack Obama's election, that figure was only 65 percent of cases.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday he was not familiar with the figures showing how routinely the government said it can't find any records, although the Justice Department also highlighted them in its own performance report. Continue…

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