Government Could Hide Existence of Records under FOIA
Government Could Hide Existence of Records under FOIA Rule Proposal
by Jennifer LaFleur
ProPublica, Oct. 24, 2011
A proposed rule to the Freedom of Information Act would allow federal agencies to tell people requesting certain law-enforcement or national security documents that records don’t exist – even when they do.
Under current FOIA practice, the government may withhold information and issue what’s known as a Glomar denial that says it can neither confirm nor deny the existence of records.
The new proposal – part of a lengthy rule revision by the Department of Justice – would direct government agencies to ‘respond to the request as if the excluded records did not exist.”
Open-government groups object.