Obama’s ‘new era of open government’ hits snag

Soon after he was inaugurated, President Obama directed executive-branch officials to create “a new era of open government.”

Obama said his administration would implement an effective system to respond to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Government agencies would “act promptly” to “make timely disclosures of information,” according to guidance issued by the Department of Justice in 2009.

It looks like the Interior Department didn’t get the memo. 

Nearly five years after The Hill filed a FOIA request to review the Interior Department’s FOIA logs, we received a response.

But it was just to find out if we were still interested in the information. (Answer: Yes.)

Asked why it has taken 1,715 days (dating back to George W. Bush’s administration) to respond to a straightforward request, the Interior Department cited a backlog of requests. Indeed.