Putting TRAC to Work
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
June 2015

Opening Statement
By Chairman Jason Chaffetz

Congress must ensure that when it comes to FOIA, agencies are following the law. The FOIA statute requires agencies to give a preliminary response within 20 business days of the request. In practice, agencies take the 20 day time limit merely as a suggestion, rather than as a rule. Most of it is just laughed off and doesnít even come close to meeting the 20 day rule, as prescribed by law. Some agencies donít even bother to go through the process of responding at all within the 20 days. Syracuse University recently learned this the hard way when only 7 of 21 agencies provided a satisfactory response to the exact same request for records kept by every FOIA office. The inconsistency is amazing. Three agencies didnít even bother to respond at all. The unresponsive agencies were the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; the Department of Justice Executive Office of the United States Attorneys; and the Department of Justice National Security Division.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2015
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