Report: Obama denied a record 77 percent of FOIA requests


The Obama administration has set a new record for rejecting Freedom of Information Act requests, according to a report published Friday.

The administration censored materials or rejected requests for access in a record 596,095 cases, or 77 percent of the time, according to the annual review conducted by the Associated Press. That's an increase of 12 percent since Obama's first year in office.

That figure includes 250,024 instances in which officials said they couldn't find records, an individual refused to pay for copies, or the government denied the request as unreasonable or improper. When those are excluded, the administration says, 93 percent of FOIA requests are at least partially fulfilled.

The review covered 100 federal agencies in 2015. Agencies that struggled with FOIA requests included the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which couldn't find responsive records 39 percent of the time. The Environmental Protection Agency's regional office in New York and New Jersey failed 58 percent of the time, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection failed to fulfill about one third of all requests.