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TRAC Challenges CIA Refusal to Process FOIA Requests

“The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University has filed a suit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) about the Central Intelligence Agency’s withholding of basic information regarding its receipt and processing of FOIA matters. The suit involves a TRAC research project to assess the compliance of almost two dozen agencies with the basic processing requirements mandated by the FOIA, and to make this information publicly available on an ongoing basis. TRAC initiated the project in January by asking the selected agencies for a listing by tracking number of FOIA requests received from October 1, 2012 to December 31, 2014. Requested were the date of each FOIA request and when it was received, the track assigned, and the date request was closed. As of April 24, only 7 of the 21 agencies had adequately responded. The CIA did not provide a satisfactory response, claiming that even though the law required such records be kept, producing them would require an “unreasonable effort.” When TRAC administratively appealed its denial, the CIA further said it was “declining to process” the appeal on the grounds that the CIA had not extended to TRAC the right to have an administrative appeal. For this suit, TRAC is represented on a pro bono basis by renowned FOIA attorney David L. Sobel. For more details on this matter, including the full text of TRAC’s complaint, see:

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