Monday, August 29, 2016

OPA: Forget About FOIA till Obama Leaves Office

In recent years, we have observed that the OPA has stopped providing materials we have sought through FOIA requests. Previously, a dozen such requests were all acknowledged and fulfilled within 1 to 15 days - even as OPA was receiving record numbers of clemency applications.

President Obama then "revamped" and stream-lined a new, more efficient OPA. The result was that similar requests were suddenly upgraded as being more "complex," time-consuming affairs.  In recent months, the OPA has simply stopped acknowledging the receipt of our FOIA requests altogether.

In a letter to Senator Dick Durbin, dated August 22, 2016, Executive Officer William N. Taylor II, stated that the Office of the Pardon Attorney "has been unable to process many FOIA requests" or even so much as "respond" - at all - to "non-case related correspondence of any kind." Taylor condescendingly noted that he can "appreciate" (the trendy politico synonym for "enthusiastically ignore") an "inquiry" here and there, and the "desire for information." But he insisted that it is simply "impossible at this time" to respond to such requests.

Mr. Taylor does anticipate that, "at the end of the Administration," the Office of the Pardon Attorney will "once again begin processing pending FOIA requests." Yes, he actually wrote that.

Transparency! ... when Obama leaves!

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