Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Systemic Problems With FOIA Compliance At The State Department

“FOIA is our premier law for ensuring openness and accountability in our federal government.  FOIA compliance must be a priority, including for the department in charge of our nation’s foreign policy.  Unfortunately, today’s report confirms what many FOIA practitioners have long known – that systemic problems within the State Department to respond to requests have existed for decades, spanning Democratic and Republican administrations, and have denied the public timely access to information.  The Department must correct these problems with the urgency and seriousness they deserve in order to comply with existing law.  I hope that rather than just playing political games with the report Republican leaders in Congress will finally allow the bipartisan FOIA Improvement Act to pass this year.”

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