Report: Half of federal agencies are failing at FOIA

Half of the federal agencies handling the bulk of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests are failing at their transparency obligations, a government watchdog group reported Monday.

The Center for Effective Government surveyed the 15 federal agencies handling 90 percent of FOIA requests and found none of them were performing well.

No agency earned an overall “A” grade, and seven received failing grades.

“The fact that no agency achieved a top grade across all three areas illustrates the difficulty agencies are having with implementation overall,” Katherine McFate, president of the Center for Effective Government, told McClatchyDC. “Agencies face a variety of challenges, depending on their request loads, the kind of information they manage, and the manpower they have available to do the job. But there is clearly much room for improvement.”