FlipSide

Government’s black hole

The Freedom of Information Act recently turned 40. To commemorate the event, the independent National Security Archive at George Washington University decided to take a deep look at FOIA requests, specifically at FOIA requests that have never been answered.

In January, the group sent FOIA requests to 87 agencies asking them to list their 10 oldest open or pending FOIA requests. One-third of the agencies did not respond. Twelve agencies never responded to similar requests that the archive made in 2005.

Based on information that some agencies did provide, however, the
independent archive learned that 10 agencies have open FOIA requests that are older than ones the agencies included in a 2006 report to Congress.

Here is a list of the oldest requests.

Click here to enlarge chart (.pdf).

chart

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