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FBI Worst FOIA Performer

krou (1027572) writes | more than 5 years ago

Databases 0

krou (1027572) writes "The National Security Archive (NSA) has awarded its 2009 Rosemary Award to the FBI for worst FOIA performance (a PDF of the award can be found here). Previous winners have been the CIA and the Treasury. The NSA note that "The FBI's reports to Congress show that the Bureau is unable to find any records in response to two-thirds of its incoming FOIA requests on average over the past four years, when the other major government agencies averaged only a 13% "no records" response to public requests." The FBI's explanation, according to the NSA, is that "files are indexed only by reference terms that have to be manually applied by individual agents", and even then, "agents don't always index all relevant terms". Furthermore, "unless a requester specifically asks for a broader search, the FBI will only look in a central database of electronic file names at FBI headquarters in Washington". Any search will therefore "miss any internal or cross-references to people who are not the subject of an investigation, any records stored at other FBI offices around the country, and any records created before the 1970.""

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