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InsiderOnline Blog: September 2012

“Most Transparent Administration Ever” Accused of Hiding Official Correspondence

Keep your eye on a new lawsuit filed Tuesday by the Competitive Enterprise Institute; if it succeeds, federal bureaucrats would no longer be able to shield official correspondence from public disclosure by sending it through personal e-mail accounts.

In May, the free market think tank filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking correspondence between Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator James Martin and the Environmental Defense Fund, for whom Martin worked before joining the EPA. CEI requested correspondence sent by Martin from both official and non-official e-mail accounts, because, CEI contends, Martin has a “clear history of using such accounts to perform official business.”

But the EPA has been stonewalling the request, so on Tuesday CEI went to court. According to CEI fellow Christopher Horner, the practice of conducting official government business via non-official e-mail accounts, “is organized and systematic throughout the ‘most transparent ever’ administration.”

For tips on using the Freedom of Information Act, see “Getting Government Records: How to File a Successful Freedom of Information Act Request” by Lisette Garcia in the summer issue of The Insider.

Posted on 09/14/12 02:47 PM by Alex Adrianson

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