FOIAILLINOIS

Increase in FOIA Requests, Denials From Bush to Obama Administrations

President Obama’s administration has fielded more FOIA-related complaints than former President George W. Bush did during his second term, according to multiple year-end reports.

Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse reports that the Obama administration has received 28 percent more Freedom of Information Act requests during the previous two years in office, 720 total, than the last Bush administration’s final two years at 562, the Washington Times reports.

That flood of requests was met with 6 percent more court cases disputing a refusal or failure to respond than in Bush’s second term.

From Syracuse’s TRAC report:

Partly because President Obama has, since his first few days in office, made sweeping promises about his administration’s support for open government, the somewhat surprising increase in FOIA filings — especially in the last two years — adds credence to the criticism of some activists about the Obama Administration’s actual commitment to this goal.

Does the request/response rate reflect a decrease in transparency, or are the numbers misleading here?

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