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Blog Posts by Larry Schecker

Chief FOIA Officer Report Shows Great Progress in FCC FOIA Processing

March 29, 2010 - 04:14 PM

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:39:height=90,width=70]]The newly-issued Chief FOIA Officer Report for the FCC demonstrates how the Commission is applying the President’s and the Attorney General’s guidance that the Freedom of Information Act is to be administered with a presumption of openness.  General Counsel Austin C. Schlick, the FCC’s Chief FOIA Officer, led a review of the Commission’s FOIA operations.  Key points reported by the Chief FOIA Officer include:

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The FCC and FOIA

February 3, 2010 - 04:56 PM


The FCC’s FOIA Annual Report for FY 2009 has just been posted as required by the FOIA.  This year our report shows improvement in many areas.  And new this year, in addition to a PDF of the report, all of the statistics are available in spreadsheets (CSV format) for the public to examine and use. 
One interesting point from the report – 94% of the FOIA requests where we had responsive records were granted in whole or in part; only 6% were denied in full pursuant to one or more of the FOIA exemptions. 
The FY 2009 report shows that we have dramatically reduced the backlog of FOIA appeals.  At the start of FY 2009 we had 30 pending appeals, and we received 14 new appeals during the fiscal year.  The Commission disposed of 37 appeals (either by decision or by informally resolving the appeal), leaving only 7 pending appeals at the start of FY 2010. 
As we move forward, we aim to do even better.  We are trying to process FOIA requests even faster.  We are working to process appeals as quickly as possible, either resolving them informally or submitting the appeal to the Commission for decision.  And under the President’s Open Government Directive, we are making more and more information available on the FCC’s website.
So, let me ask – what helpful information about the FOIA could we post that is is not on our website?  Our Chief FOIA Officer, General Counsel Austin Schlick, wants to know!

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January 22, 2010 - 05:09 PM

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:39:height=90,width=70]]On his first full day in office, President Barack Obama declared his commitment to transparency and accountability in government with the issuance of two important memoranda regarding Transparency and Open Government and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  The presumption of openness of government processes and records would be the hallmark of the new administration.  As legal counsel to the FOIA program at the FCC, I have seen firsthand how the Commission has embraced implementation of the President’s directives.

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