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Exemptions Become the Rule in Handling of FOIA Requests

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  1. Freedom of Information
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A new study by the Coalition of Journalists for Open Government documents that federal agencies are releasing markedly less information through the Freedom of Information Act than they did just five years ago. The CJOG analysis shows the use of FOIA exemptions to withhold information increased 22 percent between 2000 and 2004, despite the fact that federal agencies responded to 13 percent fewer requests for information. The exemptions most frequently used to say “no” to requesters were those recommended by Attorney General John Ashcroft in his 2001 memorandum and by White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card in a directive six months later. (11/22/05)