A new report by a coalition of 70 government watchdog groups found that the backlog of Freedom of Information Act requests has gone down by 40 percent during the first nine months of the Obama administration.
But the report also notes that the declassification system continues to fall further behind, and addresses “looming secrecy problems” that the Obama administration should address. The report does not measure the impact of the White House’s Open Government Initiative.“Encouraging trends are evident in these early months of the Obama Administration, in both FOIA and in general secrecy,” said Patrice McDermott, Director of OpenTheGovernment.org. “In general, after hitting high water marks during the Bush Administration, statistics indicate the creation of new national security secrets is slowly ebbing.”
As ProPublica points out, the government spent almost $9 billion last year maintaining secrets and just $45 million on declassifying documents.
The report is embedded below.