Today Cause of Action joined and a coalition of watchdog/accountability groups in signing a letter addressed to President Obama to urge him to bring renewed attention to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

We strongly agree with your statements in the January 21, 2009 Memorandum that the FOIA “encourages accountability through transparency,” and “is the most prominent expression of a profound national commitment to ensuring an open Government.” However, as we have discussed with you and your staff, delays and other barriers in FOIA practice at the agency level continue to prevent the public from timely access to information about the federal government’s activities.

Read the full text of the letter to President Obama here.


Cause of Action also signed a letter sent to Chairman Darrell Issa and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to thank them for their work to hold agencies accountable for implementing FOIA.

As you point out in your letter, FOIA is an important option the public has for accessing information about the government’s activities. This tool is much less meaningful, however, if the public cannot use it to get timely access to the information to which they are entitled. Your letter is an excellent step towards identifying where a lack of oversight and attention on the part of OIP is contributing to these problems. We hope you will share your responses from OIP with the public, and look forward to future oversight hearings.

Read the full text of the letter to the Oversight Committee here.