Updated FOIA resources

The Project on Government Oversight says it has updated its resources page for the Freedom of Information Act. Among the additions is a report by the Congressional Research Service that includes the history of the act, and how the Bush and Obama administrations have interpreted it.

Obama started his administration with a strong endorsement of open records and government accountability, but has since made some decisions that run counter to that approach. We’ve blogged about them here.

About Scott Blanchard

Sunday editor at the York (Pa.) Daily Record/Sunday News. Follow me on Twitter and Google+.
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3 Responses to Updated FOIA resources

    Background: The government scores the performance of government contractors under most awarded contracts (See: http://www.cpars.csd.disa.mil/cparsmain.htm). For several years we have been seeking the final performance rating scores, but were denied under the Bush administration. The new environment, still wants to deny, but is having trouble formulating sufficient justification given the efforts toward transparency. This issue has stirred many internal rumbling between the agency’s old guard establishment and the new era of “transparency”.
    Some of the interesting issues include:
    • States are adopting comparable contract performance rating systems and making full disclosure to the public without any negative ramifications;
    • last month the government published CPAR rating statistics that illustrate from 4,060 CPAR ratings completed for IT projects valued at more than $1M the Contracting Officials consider 22.8 % of the company’s evaluated to be below a “DEFINITELY WOULD AWARD” rating; and from 9,951 CPAR ratings completed for Systems type contracts, valued at $5M and greater, the report revealed that Contract Officials consider 27% of these company’s to be below a “DEFINITELY WOULD AWARD” rating. The statistics do NOT disclose to “whom” or the total dollars of taxpayer funds directed to the underperforming contractors. Don’t the taxpayers have a right to know? (See: http://www.cpars.csd.disa.mil/metrics/cpars/CPARS072009.html)
    • the CPAR score go directly to the issue of how true is the Obama policy on transparency – or is it simply transparency with sunglasses?

  2. Jeff, thanks for the comment. I checked the site you linked to, and it does seem like there’s a lot of information there that’s not really useful unless you know which companies/contractors were being rated. That’s the subject of your FOIA effort, correct — to get the company/contractor names that go with these ratings? That looks like the only way that people could check whether the federal government is re-hiring contractors that have been rated “definitely/probably would not award.”

  3. Jeff says:

    Scott – we are actually seeking the final rating scores that will identify the contractor and agency, as well as the overall aggregate scores. Anything you can do to stir public interest is appreciated. Most folks never heard of this system, or that the government seeks to deny the disclosure. thx*

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