Many months ago I submitted a FOIA request to the U.S. government, and to date have only received one vague email response, despite multiple letters from me, so it is good news to learn that Rep. Darrell Issa is investigating evidence that political appointees are prying into the political activities of hundreds of people who have made FOIA requests. Issa chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
By Ed Morrissey
January 17, 2011
Republicans have started to make good on their promises to conduct stringent oversight of the Obama administration right from the start. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has requested information from the Department of Homeland Security over a reported practice of investigating the politics of those seeking government records through Freedom of Information Act requests:
A House committee has asked the Homeland Security Department to provide documents about an agency policy that required political appointees to review many Freedom of InformationAct requests, according to a letter obtained Sunday by The Associated Press.
The Associated Press reported in July that for at least a year, Homeland Security had sidetracked hundreds of requests for federal records to top political advisers to the department’s secretary, Janet Napolitano. The political appointees wanted information about those requesting the materials, and in some cases the release of documents considered politically sensitive was delayed, according to numerous e-mails that were obtained by the AP.
The Freedom of Information Act is supposed to ensure the quick public release of requested government documents without political consideration. Obama has said his administration would emphasize openness in providing requested federal records.