Study: More FOIA complaints under Obama

Dec. 25, 2012 at 4:42 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 25 (UPI) -- The number of complaints filed by people seeking U.S. records rose 6 percent in President Barack Obama's first term from the previous four years, a study found.

The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University said there were 720 filings in the first two years of the Obama administration, compared to 562 in the last two years of President George W. Bush's second term, The Washington Times reported. That is a 28 percent increase, but the clearinghouse said the total increase for Obama's first term was only 6 percent.

Christopher Horner, a senior fellow at the right-leaning Competitive Enterprise Institute, accused administration officials of trying to cover their tracks. He said Lisa Jackson, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, has been conducting government business using an unofficial email address.

"The reason is that they just aren't that into transparency now that it's more than a talking point, and no longer about the other guy," Horner said. "Their pollster apparently told them that people wanted to hear they would be transparent, but it does not seem that there were ever any plans to actually be so."

Horner says he has found at least 14 private email accounts used by officials at EPA and the Energy Department.

Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, another right-leaning group, said the administration tries to stall Freedom of Information Act requests to force cases into federal courts.

The White House had no comment on the report, the Times said.

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