Treasury Dept accused of ignoring FOIA

(Via Instapundit and TaxProf Blog.) An organization at Syracuse University has released a report accusing the US Treasury Department of ignoring their FOIA obligations. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) has:

…accused the Treasury Department’s Disclosure Services — the department unit that processes Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests — of secretly withholding government records about how it handles FOIA matters.

An administrative appeal filed by TRAC charges the department’s Disclosure Services Office with failing to abide by the basic legal requirements of the FOIA.

This from the most open and transparent administration ever, natch. The Disclosure Service department also apparently relied on the mechanism of printing out the electronic documents that they did decide they’d hand over, heavily redacting them, copying the redacted docs, and then shipping them in a box to TRAC, violating requirements of the Electronic Freedom of Information Act and the Obama Administration’s assertions that agencies would both make their databases more accessible and use the web to handle information transfers.

I think the part that just amazed me the most was that the request was originally made June 10, 2008 and the initial response from the Department was only made recently on April 8, 2010. They took almost 2 years to respond to a FOIA request, which I thought was far, far outside the mandated time limitations. This is what open and transparent government is supposed to look like?

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