An apologetic official from Veterans Affairs has been reaching out to citizens who sought records from the agency under the federal Freedom of Information Act, which requires the government to share many types of information with the public.
The story: A VA FOIA staffer was out on medical leave and the Department has now discovered "a number of old (FOIA) requests that were never gotten around to..."
It's not clear how many requests "fell through the cracks," as the official describes it. But the violation of the regulations is clear. The FOIA law says the Department has 20 business days to respond to an initial request. Our initial request -- for sister site DMZ War -- involves asbestos exposure by US Korean Service veterans and was submitted in December 2012.
Missing a clear legal deadline by more than a year-and-a-half and counting, by an agency that claims it's focused on transparency, is pretty embarrassing. We'd cut them a bit of slack given the current life-or-death demands on VA to reduce its lines for medical care, but this is an entirely different VA department that appears to share the same lax management as the health-delivery side.
Come to think of it, is it possible the FOIA bureaucrat who dropped the ball during medical leave was himself stuck in the VA medical system? If so, we have at least a little sympathy.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Navy's Secret Underwater Code Revealed: Whale Songs for "Covert By Disguise" Cold War CommunicationsThe U.S. government has now declassified files on years of ingenious secret experiments to use "coded pilot whale sounds" for cove...
US Gov Specifically Asks Applicants for Citizenship if They Were WWII Nazis -- But NOT If They Were Members of ISIS or al-Qaida[Note: Critics of President Trump say the "vetting" of visa applicants and immigrants is already tough enough. You decide...] T...
How Many Applicants for US Citizenship Admit Being Terrorists or Communists? Or Refuse to Support the Constitution? The US Government Says It Doesn't Know... Key Immigration Form Still Does Not Specifically Ask If Applicants Are ISIS, But Does Specifically Ask If They Hold a "Hered...