This week’s FOIA round-up: Alaskans sue Interior for oil drilling information, data shows federal aid favors the wealthiest farmers, and Los Angeles pension trustees spend big on international getaway
In this week’s FOIA round-up, Alaska natives sued the Trump Administration for concealing information regarding oil drilling, an environmental advocacy group shows that the bulk of U.S. farm aid goes to wealthy farmers, and members of the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement draw public scrutiny after going on pricey international vacations.
A bipartisan team of senior U.S. Senators has introduced legislation to clarify important sections of the Freedom of Information Act and codify a presumption of disclosure for commercial records.
Steven Rich, the database editor for the investigations team at The Washington Post, recently gained access to a database that traced every pain pill distributed across the US between 2006 and 2012. The database provides a look at where opioids have been distributed by which pharmaceutical companies, and shows that the federal government has long been aware of the scope of the opioid crisis. Rich spoke to MuckRock about taking advantage of a lawsuit to gain access to the Drug Enforcement Administration pain pill database and how to use public records to report on private companies.
Last Monday, the Supreme Court prevented release of government spending data to a South Dakota newspaper, handing down a ruling that is expected to limit the public’s understanding of how tax dollars are spent in the private sector.
Exactly one year ago, Emma Best sent the Central Intelligence Agency a FOIA request for emails on WikiLeaks. In response, the Agency has repeatedly attempted to stonewall the request using a series of tactics, the latest of which appears to be simply ignoring the matter. Now it’s time to sue.