Greens Ask Interior Watchdog To Probe Agency's Public Records Policies

June 18, 2019

"A number of conservation groups are asking the Interior Department’s internal watchdog to investigate reports that political appointees are improperly interfering in the release of public records.

Two separate complaints filed Monday by Earthjustice and the Campaign for Accountability say officials are using an "awareness review" policy to unlawfully delay the release of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and demand Interior’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) look into the situation.

Earthjustice’s letter, dated June 14, claims the department's FOIA process "has been subject to political interference by political appointees and non-career staff" since 2017."

Miranda Green reports for The Hill June 17, 2019.


"Interior Department's FOIA Program Prompts IG Complaint" (E&E News PM)

"Interior Department’s FOIA Proposal Faces Scrutiny From the Reporters Committee" (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press)

"SEJ Objects to Interior Dept. Proposal To Gut FOIA Rules" (Society of Environmental Journalisrs)

"WatchDog: Under Siege from Ethics Probes, Interior Dept. Proposes Gutting Rules on Open Records" (SEJ WatchDog)

"Interior Held Back FOIA’d Documents After Political Screenings" (Roll Call)

"Interior Department Policy Let Political Appointees Review FOIA Requests" (Roll Call)

"Bernhardt Defends Interior Department’s Public Records Review Policy" (Tribune News Service)

"Interior Department Border Deployments Are Mired In Secrecy" (High Country News)

Interior Department Releases Heavily Redacted Documents Regarding Border Patrol Assistance (MuckRock)

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