@SunshineReview asked in its #foiachat today if anyone had any thoughts on Rep. Darrell Issa’s charge that the Department of Homeland Security was running some Freedom of Information Act requests through political appointees.
The California Republican invoked another California Republican when he called the process “Nixonian.”
I responded on Twitter that I thought politics had zero role to play in whether an agency responds to a FOIA request, or how it responds to one. I liked these words in the CNSNews.com story from John Verdi, who is director of open government for the Electronic Privacy Information Center:
“We are not aware of any other program that has singled out FOIA requests based on politically sensitive content or the identity of the requestor. Political review delays the release of records and raises the specter of wrongful performance.”
He also said that federal law prohibits agencies from picking what to respond to based on political considerations, according to CNSNews.com.
The agency said the investigation Issa referred to was biased and didn’t allege wrongdoing, according to the story. A Virginia Democrat, Rep. Gerald Connelly, was quoted as saying the agency was trying to be more responsive to requests.
What do you think?