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The 2016 Foilies

Some government agencies are so bad at handling public records requests, they deserve an award.


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A bright spot in this sad story: Since OGIS compiled its report, TSA has updated its procedures on still-interested letters to bring them into line with the DOJ and the rest of DHS.

The Timey-Wimey Award
City of Wilmington, Delaware

In October, Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams had to clarify that he had not endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president after Clinton's campaign had listed his name on her website. The next day, America Rising, a conservative opposition research organization, filed a records request that asked for all communications to and from the mayor's public relations team for that single, tumultuous day.

Here's where the timeline gets bizarre: America Rising filed the request on October 21, asking for communications that were exchanged on October 20. Instead, the city said that America Rising had demanded the request be fulfilled by October 20, one day before the request was actually filed. The city denied the request, essentially claiming it lacked the time travel capabilities to respond.

Since then, America Rising has clarified its request twice, and it's still pending.