I’ve mentioned in the past that I’ve got some FOIA problems – Treasury/Department of Energy and I don’t see eye-to-eye on some things. In fact, we don’t see eye-to-eye on anything, apparently, since a FOIA I filed 18 months ago has yielded nothing that I originally asked for.
I asked for all applications to the Section 1603 grant program, which I’ve reported on extensively, as well as a great deal of internal correspondence on the program and correspondence about press coverage, etc.
What I’ve gotten is a partial list of applicants (which wasn’t what I asked for) from December of 2009, and a sample application, mostly blacked out. You can view the partial list of applicants if you want to see who’s been going to the administration with their hand out, but be warned – the data is a bit dodgy: there are a lot of corporate names, LLCs, shell companies, etc., and some just downright bad data (someone filed their application with the “name” entry filled out with “not applicable” – there’s no other data because the administration has kept it under lock and key thus far.)
To make a long story short, the administration has told me it will cost at least $12,400 for copying and duplication fees to get the public documents I’ve asked for, and we’re stuck there, because that’s absurd. I don’t want copies and I don’t need copies – an electronic version of the public records is not only possible, it’s preferable - but the administration isn’t willing to consider either of those things.
To read about my troubles in more detail, check out my latest blog post over at the Investigative Reporting Workshop.