New Website Tracks FOIA Withholding Challenges

There’s a new FOIA website in town. The other week, FOIA.gov was launched by the Department of Justice. This time, it’s not a government FOIA site, but one done by Syracuse University (with a grant from the CS Fund/Warsh-Mott Legacy).

Designed to bring more transparency to FOIA withholding decisions, the new site — http://FOIAproject.org — gives the American people a way to track all instances in which a federal agency’s decision to deny government records has become the subject of a suit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) since October 1, 2009. (source)

The site “is updated daily with the latest court FOIA filings and provides extensive information about the names of withholding agency, the names of the plaintiffs, the location where the action was brought, along with the actual complaint and attachments that were filed.” Find out more about the website’s launch here.

This was originally posted at the company that I work for’s product blog (Disclosure: the product deals w/ transparency, gov’t, & technology).

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Justin Mosebach

Well, according to the case chart, all three categories (# of cases, defendants [agencies sued], and documents) seem to be on track to surpass the stats from 2010.

Gary Pollack

I know that there’s a lot of talk about open document standards – that let 3rd party developers elicit meta tags instead of forcing data scarpes – reducing the need for FOIA requests (and therefore costs of mgmt/response). Anybody care to weigh in?