Got a FOIA request? Sorry, the government’s not in.

MuckRock still filing, but expect delays for records requests
Written by Zack Sampson
Edited by Michael Morisy

The government has been shut down for only one morning, but the problems in Washington have already halted the processing of FOIA requests.

See this reply from Environmental Protection Agency headquarters:

This message is to inform you that all FOIA processing at EPA is suspended due to the shutdown of the federal government. We will begin processing your request when normal government operations resume.

Jonathan V. Newton, Attorney-Advisor U.S. EPA, Office of the Executive Secretariat.”

The Nation Labor Relations Board advised, “Unfortunately, there will be a delay in our responding to your request due to circumstances we cannot control.”

Records officers are generally considered non-essential personnel, so they will not be working until Congress can agree on how to fund the government.

As The Washington Post pointed out, non-essential government employees can face fines or jail time for even just checking their email during the shutdown.

Oh well, if you can’t get a response to your FOIA, try going outside. Enjoy a National Park on a crisp fall day. Wait, maybe not.

MuckRock will keep you updated on the responses we see today and on FOIA during the shutdown, so keep checking back for news. If you eat, breathe and dream FOIA, join our mailing list, follow us on Twitter, or “Like” us on Facebook. Or better yet, join MuckRock today and start filing your own requests. On the plus side, there’s still tens of thousands of state and local governments accepting requests!