White House Attempting to Move FOIA Ombud to Justice Dept.

january 24, 2008  01:29 pm
The creation of an ombudsman to oversee disputes over the Freedom of Information Act was the centerpiece of the FOIA reform bill signed into law last month. Cox News reports that the Open Government Act placed the ombudsman at the National Archives because of criticism leveled at the Justice Department for failing to address chronic FOIA backlogs. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and John Cornyn (R-TX) are speaking out against the administration's attempt to move the position to Justice. "Such a move is not only contrary to the express intent of the Congress, but it is also contrary to the very purpose of this legislation -- to ensure the timely and fair resolution of American's FOIA requests," Leahy said in a floor speech on Wednesday.