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Center on Media Crime and Justice at John Jay College
February 4, 2021

FOIA Requesters Wait Months, Years for Answers: Report
By TCR Staff

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has been undermined by endless delays as federal officials seemingly ignore enforced deadlines to respond to requests, forcing those seeking information to take agencies to court, according to a report released Wednesday. The FOIA, passed in 1966, entitles the public to access to government records in a timely fashion. However, according to the FOIA Project, federal judges have been increasingly “failing to rule in a timely manner,” leaving requestors in limbo. The report was sponsored by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a research center at Syracuse University. “All these delays have practical consequences,” said the authors of the report, entitled “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied,” noting that many people need information and records to handle pressing personal matters, while others seek information to aid in immediate public policy issues. Without the information, and because of these delays, the FOIA Project says requesters are left in the dark for far too long.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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