Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of giving a talk with the Educational Writers Association on how to speed up slow Freedom of Information Act requests. Here are tips I’ve seen work over the years, plus a chance to share your secrets - and maybe win some free MuckRock requests.
Last year, a letter from the FBI indicated that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin tied to an ongoing federal investigation. In response, Senator Sherrod Brown called for the FBI to release any relevant details so that Congress could make an informed decision. His request was rejected - a week after Mnuchin was already confirmed.
A little over a year ago, I took a look at what FOIA might look like under the Trump administration. Unfortunately for transparency, things have turned out much as we expected.
Progress rarely comes in a straight line, particularly when it comes to public records and transparency. This week, some stories about the ups and downs after reforms happen, including challenges at the state, local, and federal level.
The Environmental Protection Agency last week pledged to clear out its backlog of FOIA requests from the Obama administration, but the agency is at the same time experiencing a glut of new requests. This week, we take a close look at the notable successes and frustrations of FOIAing Trump’s EPA.