Bloomberg has this article entitled "Obama Cabinet Flunks Disclosure Test With 19 of 20 Ignoring Law." Basically, the story says since 19 of 20 agencies did not respond to a FOIA request made by Bloomberg for travel records, the government is not following the President's transparency pledge made on his first day in office.
I'm not sure the headline is fair -- disclosure and timeliness are not exactly the same. The President did not say that he'd make sure that all agencies would make disclosures within the statutory time allowed by the FOIA (20 working days). While I would applaud if all agencies could make that time-frame, it is not going to happen by Presidential order alone. As anyone with any knowledge of high school civics knows, the agency budget is not set by the President -- it is voted on by Congress and then signed by the President. As my readers know, I believe FOIA offices are vastly underfunded -- and I'm not going to get into the discussion of how that happened or how it can be corrected-- it just is. So to grade agencies on timeliness and say they fail a disclosure test is just wrong. The real test should be did they release disclosable material within a reasonable amount of time? The article goes on to state that a number of agencies did make the release albeit not within the statutory time period.
Making FOIA requests and waiting for the release of the information is a very frustrating experience. I know this very well because that is what I do for a living. However, it is also frustrating for FOIA professionals who in many cases are at the mercy of agency officials to both fund the FOIA office and to give the responsive records to the FOIA professional for processing and release. I think a better article would be why agencies can't make the release of the request within 20 days or even a reasonable time -- and flag agency officials outside of the FOIA office who hamper this from happening.