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July 23, 2007

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FOIA Processor

Come on Requesters - quit complaining about the length of time to get a FOIA response and exercise your right to construe the lack of response as a constructive denial and appeal the denial of your request. While most OGC offices are behind the scenes delaying responses to requests evaluating the potential to lose an appeal, go ahead and make an administrative appeal! Appeals are handled much more quickly. There is already a fourth track (the published three tracks are simple, complex, and expedited) and that track gets the most attention and response - the litigation track. Do not administratively appeal on the 21st day, remember, the 20-day response time is not to provide records but to provide requesters the determination of whether their FOIA request has been accepted for processing. A requester who waits more than a year to recieve records or a denial is a stupid requester. (OGCs and inept FOIA programs favorite kind). Those who have been waiting and complaining for 10 or more years, they're not stupid, they're idiots. The power of "constructive denial" is in the hands of the requester, so use it.

Scott's note: The only problem I have with this FOIA Processor is that some agencies won't act on appeals that haven't been acted on yet. For instance, the DOJ will merely close an appeal that sits in one of its components backlogs rather than making any decision on the length of time the request has sat around.

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