With the November elections approaching, SABEW, the association for business journalists, expresses concern about the deteriorating state of Freedom Of Information Act compliance across all levels of government.
As indicated in the articles below, the backlog of Federal FOIA requests has reached alarming levels and the FOIA laws, last revised in 2016, badly need updating.
Organizations across the political spectrum have raised the problem of a lack of government transparency. We endorse the efforts of the Society for Professional Journalists, the Freedom of Information Coalition and others to urge our members to advocate for better compliance with FOIA laws. Whatever the election outcome, an update to FOIA is long overdue.
The following articles underscore the urgent need for action on FOIA’s backlog and other issues:
- A coalition of press and government transparency groups has written twice to the Attorney General on FOIA reform
- Politico reports bipartisan concern about FOIA backlogs in the Senate
- The Federal News Network provides detail about the FOIA backlog
- The Electronic Privacy Information Center reports on the impact of FOIA delays on policymaking (view question #2 in the linked document)
- The Project on Government Oversight, which signed the letter to Attorney General Garland, has been tracking FOIA problems in detail
- States have their own FOIA issues. Here is an example from Michigan
It is SABEW’s mission as an independent, non-profit organization to encourage comprehensive reporting of economic events without fear or favoritism and to increase members’ skills and knowledge through continuous education. SABEW recognizes that economic freedom is inextricably linked to political freedom and that an informed citizenry can ensure these freedoms are sustained.
For more information visit sabew.org.