FOIA March Madness 2017: Heading into the Semifinals

With some agencies fighting to the finish, the entire Protect Ya Neck bracket can’t be bothered

Written by JPat Brown
Edited by Beryl Lipton

It’s week three of MuckRock’s bracket-style March Madness race to fill a FOIA the fastest, and while a few unlikely challengers are looking strong heading into the semis, an entire division is looking like their heart just isn’t into it.

C.R.E.A.M.

As Beryl talked about last week, this has proven to be the bracket to watch, with some huge upsets and all-around strong competition. That said, credit has to go to the Securities and Exchange Commission, who have already released hundreds of pages of appeals and are looking to be the one to beat. Can any of the remaining agencies pull off a surprise, last-minute upset? Stay tuned!

Bring Da Ruckus

What this bracket has been lacking in releases, it’s more than made up for with the personal touch - more agencies from this group reached out for clarification over the phone than any other, which was the deciding factor for the Department of the Energy and the Federal Maritime Commission. But as we near the Finals, talk is cheap - and it’s getting time to put up or shut up.

Protect Ya Neck

If it was possible to disqualify an entire bracket, we would. Although last year’s abysmal showing for the security-themed group prepared us for underwhelment, these agencies managed to miss even our lowered expectations. In the last week of March for a completion called March Madness, only two out of the 16 agencies have responded to the request, and one of them has “appeals” in their actual name. As a personal aside, if one of these guys turns this around and wins the whole thing, I, JPat Brown, will eat the cover letter of the winning agency. Consider that extra incentive, FBI.

Thrift Shop

180 degrees from Protect Ya Neck’s graveyard is our liveliest group, where any four of the surviving agencies has a chance to win this whole thing. Will the National Parks Service continue its Cinderella season, or will they succumb to the CDC’s second wind? It’s anybody’s game! (Except for my own perennial dark horse pick the Peace Corps, who were knocked out by the EPA, but at least they acknowledged the request this year.)

Check back in next week for more March Madness excitement and see who makes it into the Final Four!


Image via JeremyPinsly.com