Share

Watchdog: Accountability

VA, other agencies add new red tape layer to slow FOIA responses

|
Watchdog,Michal Conger,Veterans Affairs,Accountability,FOIA

New layers of review for "sensitivity" will slow down responses to Freedom of Information Act requests at the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to an internal assessment from the department.

According to the memo, first obtained by KUOW reporter John Ryan, all requests will now be reviewed by four different FOIA officers, including the VA's director of FOIA service.

Ryan first learned about the new policy when a VA official told him it would slow down a response to his FOIA request, according to the Washington Free Beacon's C.J. Ciaramella.

“The purpose of the review will be for sensitivity determination after the request has been perfected and responsive records have been identified,” the October 31 memo said.

The new policy will be reviewed after 90 days, according to the memo.

Other federal agencies have added more layers to their FOIA response processes, Ciaramella said.

"Significant" requests to the Department of Defense require Pentagon approval of responses, and "sensitive" Housing and Urban Development requests must be approved by three different offices.

View article comments Leave a comment