Watchdog Group Highlights the EPA’s Delayed FOIA responses

Over the past year, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of the Administrator has significantly delayed the department’s processing of Freedom of Information Act requests, according to an ongoing analysis by Project on Government Oversight, a non-partisan non-profit that tracks corruption in the federal government.

The initial findings of the analysis show that the office within the EPA has only closed fewer than 17 percent of FOIA requests. The fallback in FOIA response has prompted an unprecedented spike in FOIA lawsuits filed against the Scott Pruitt-led EPA by open government groups, environmentalists, and even conservative organizations, Politico reports.

The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) report claims these numbers exhibit a concerning emerging pattern in transparency for the office. The “analysis is ongoing, but the statistical patterns we’ve already begun to see are so concerning that we wanted to make policymakers, journalists, and the public aware,” the POGO report reads. “The slow processing of FOIA requests by the Administrator’s Office hampers the public’s right to gain access to public records in a timely manner and to learn about the work of our government.” Read more…