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Associated Press
December 14, 2005

Information About Close to One Million Federal Employees Withheld

Without any explanation, the Bush Administration in early 2005 abruptly withheld information about close to one million of the government's 2.7 million civilian employees. Among the disappearing workers were those working for such agencies as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The sudden withholding violated the Freedom of Information Act. But it also broke a tradition of openness that began in 1816 when the government first published the names, occupations and work stations of all federal employees. (The first name on the first list was James Madison, president.) On December 6, 2005, arguing that effective oversight is impossible without access to the names and other information about most government employees, TRAC filed a complaint under the FOIA in the Northern District of New York. The whole story was laid out in an article by Michael J. Sniffin, a highly experienced reporter in AP's Washington Bureau, that ran in the Washington Post and numerous other papers around the country.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2006
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