Obama Administration sets record for withholding FOIA requests

The Obama administration set yet another record for withholding or denying government files under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) last year, according to the numbers in a report from The Center for Effective Government.

An analysis by the Associated Press found that 39 percent of requested information was censored or not released at all. Redacted information varied from a few words to entire paragraphs. Figures released by the White House show 714,231 requests for information last year.

The U.S. spent a record $434 million trying to keep up with well over half a million requests for information. It also spent about $28 million in legal fees to keep records secret. The U.S. government acknowledged that nearly 1 in 3 cases when the initial decisions was to withhold or censor records were improper under the law – but only when challenged. 

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