A report released this week by the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee was not complimentary of the FCC. The investigative report pointed to problems with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) procedures across the Executive Branch, but particularly singled out the FCC for a detailed look. After highlighting several examples of agency redactions in materials provided to the public, the report states:
These redactions demonstrate a lack of responsiveness to the public’s right for information. The agency either misunderstands how to use redactions, raising concerns of competency, or the agency intentionally misuses redactions, raising concerns of integrity. Given the numerous examples in which the FCC improperly redacts information, this may be a deliberate tactic to withhold information from the public.
Regarding the full report, Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) stated, “Backlogs of FOIA claims have more than doubled since 2009 and agencies are sitting on piles of unfulfilled document requests. Instead of the open and transparent government promised, this administration is playing a game of hide the document from the American people.”
Notably, the same day this report was released, the full House passed bipartisan legislation aimed at enhancing FOIA transparency and compliance in the Executive Branch.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: January 15, 2016