According to the Huffington Post's Sam Stein, Vanity Fair and the National Security News Service have been making FOIA requests to the Navy to find out about a rumored accident that occured at the main gate of a Navy base in 1964. According to the story, no documents have yet to be released due to privacy considerations.
Update: Judge Rosemary Collyer of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia has now denied the National Security News Service's request for this material saying it is exempt pursuant to FOIA exemption 6.
The Office of Information and Privacy has issued guidance in implementing Section 12 of last year's FOIA amendments. The guidance explains how to redact documents and label the exemptions used for withholdings on pages that documents are released in part. Section 12 basically codifies long standing FOIA practices and this guidance merely shows how this is to be done.
Key details about how much the government is paying the Bank of New York Mellon under a contract to keep the books on the bailout plan have been redacted. According to this story, the government hasn't actually used a FOIA exemption for this redaction. However, it appears it may be Exemption 4, confidential business information.
Hopefully, someone will contest the redactions and taxpayers will find out just how much this is costing.
The Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA), the entity that basically oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac these days has issued these proposed FOIA rules for the FHFA. The proposed rules indicate that Fannie and Freddie records are now covered by the FOIA through requests to the FHFA.
I make many FOIA requests as part of my law practice. And I've noticed a troubling trend lately--some agencies (and no, I won't name them publicly) don't use the United States Postal Service to send out responses, they use Fedex or another delivery service. And this isn't for just FOIA releases, it is for routine letters. The cost of a letter sent through the post office is $.42, the cost of another delivery service is at least $5.00. Multiply that in the hundreds and you are talking real cash.
As a taxpayer, I just don't understand why these agencies can't just use the postal service and also, if they are worrying about timeliness, send a pdf via e-mail. It would save us all alot of money (that we don't even have in the first place).
Secrecy News reports that the Pentagon has updated its FOIA policy for requests going to the Secretary of Defense. The memo expresses that the maximum amount of information possible should be released in response to FOIA request. The report and the memo can be found here.