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FEMA Ordered to Release 2004 Hurricane Relief Data, Inspector Names

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  1. Freedom of Information
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The Federal Emergency Management Agency has been ordered to release records with the addresses of disaster aid recipients and names of inspectors who approved disaster relief grants following Florida’s 2004 hurricanes. The South Florida Sun Sentinel sued after FEMA, claiming privacy, refused to provide the documents in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra said he was “hard pressed to understand” how revealing the name of someone who works for a government contractor constituted an invasion of privacy. He added, “There is a substantial and legitimate public interest in FEMA’s handling of disaster assistance in the wake of recent hurricanes. He also said the newspaper is entitled to all but two of the e-mails sent to and from then agency director Michael Brown about the relief efforts. (4/17/06)