Bloomberg News found that 19 of 20 federal agencies did not comply within 20 days to a request for travel expenses made under the Freedom of Information Act. Jim Snyder and Danielle Ivory report:
“When it comes to implementation of Obama’s wonderful transparency policy goals, especially FOIA policy in particular, there has been far more ‘talk the talk’ rather than ‘walk the walk,’ ” said Daniel Metcalfe, director of the Department of Justice’s office monitoring the government’s compliance with FOIA requests from 1981 to 2007.
Analysis done by the Scripps Howard Foundation reveals that President Obama’s administration granted a smaller percentage of open records requests in its first two years in office than George W. Bush’s administration granted in its final three years.
White House spokesperson Eric Schultz defended the administration’s transparency efforts, telling Bloomberg, “Over the past four years, federal agencies have gone to great efforts to make government more transparent and more accessible than ever, to provide people with information that they can use in their daily lives.” Schultz “noted that Obama received an award for his commitment to open government,” Snyder and Ivory write. “The March 2011 presentation of that award was closed to the press.”