Bureau of Land Management looks to limit Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests

If the BLM would raise the livestock grazing fees, even just a little bit, they’d have plenty of money to be transparent.  Also, there is little that can possibly “slow down the agency’s decision-making process” since it remains in the dark ages.

Source:  muckrock.com

“Media requests only make up a fraction of the total requests agencies receive, but the new policy setting an organizational “cap” on requests could severely hamper the work of journalists – and concerned citizens – trying to use FOIA for its intended purpose.”

Bureau of Land Management looks to limit the number of FOIA requests organizations can file with the agency

Recommendations appear to target media requests, and raise the cost of already prohibitive processing fees

Written by JPat Brown
Edited by Michael Morisy

According to records obtained by the Washington Post, the Bureau of Land Management is recommending new legislation that would limit the number of FOIA requests individuals and agencies could file with the agency, create stricter criteria for fee waivers, as well as increased fees for “search and redaction.”

For justification, BLM cites the agency’s limited resources, which in turn causes requests to “slow down the agency’s decision-making process.” In Financial Year 2016, the report states, the agency’s FOIA work cost $2.8 million, which was approximately .2 percent of the agency’s total budget of $1.3 billion that year.

As has been written about before, the vast majority of FOIA requests are by commercial entities. For some agencies, the percentage of commercial requests are as high as 95 percent.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

8 comments on “Bureau of Land Management looks to limit Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests

  1. THEY WORK FOR US AND WE PAY THEIR WAGES. WE SHOULD NOT PAY THEM TO FURTHER PUT UP WALLS BETWEEN THE PUBLIC AND AN ACCOUNTABLE GOVERNMENT.

    FOIAs would not be necessary if information was more freely available to “we the people” and not hidden, buried, or poorly organized. Raise the grazing fees to private market equity levels and provide an open access channel to the public, end of problem and cost effective, too.

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    • “Since joining the Trump administration in February, we know of at least 7 fundraisers or political events the secretary has attended at high-end resort destinations. The Interior Department has provided no receipts or evidence that Secretary Zinke repaid taxpayers for his government-funded flights to these locations.

      For those of us not lucky enough to travel in style and dine with America’s wealthy elite, we can at least live vicariously through Secretary Zinke’s travels. Here are a handful of the luxurious destinations we know Secretary Zinke’s been to since taking over at Interior:…”

      View story at Medium.com

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    • Its becoming really obvious that “they” believe they can do anything they want to – and that we, the people, have no way to prevent it! Obstruction of justice, anyone???

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  2. FOIAs matter. For instance, Zinke and Pruitt both have taken advantage of taxpayers for their “public service” work. Without FOIAs, we would probably never have any such knowledge. Birds of a feather fly together:

    “Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt frequently flies in first and business class because he’s regularly confronted by angry members of the public during his travels, according to a report in Politico on Thursday.

    The EPA’s Office of Criminal Enforcement told Politico that Pruitt was “approached at the airport numerous times, to the point of profanities being yelled at him,” which spurred the expensive bookings…

    Pruitt has come under fire this week after The Washington Post reported that the administrator was regularly booked in premium cabins, often costing thousands of dollars more than equivalent seats in coach. The report, citing EPA receipts obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, noted several flights cost more than $90,000 in total during a few weeks last June.

    Federal regulations mandate government employees travel in the “least expensive class of travel” for their needs, but individuals are allowed to book premium seats if there are security concerns.”

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/scott-pruitt-epa-first-class_us_5a864be5e4b004fc319090ae

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  3. It’s been a rough year for Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke – and it’s still January
    (excerpts)
    By Darryl Fears

    The start of the new year has been rocky for Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke.

    He’s on the hot seat for exempting Florida from the Trump administration’s expanded oil and gas offshore drilling proposal without bothering to notify his boss, and for what appears to be a failure to disclose an investment in a Montana gun company, a possible conflict of interest.

    Those stumbles added to other missteps that have befallen the secretary during the 10 months since he took control of the department, which manages vast federal lands including monuments, parks, refuges as well as abundant natural resources.
    He booked a $12,000 flight home on a charter jet owned by an oil executive and other private flights to island-hop in the Caribbean. He billed taxpayers more than $6,000 for a helicopter trip he took to rush to a horseback ride with Vice President Pence. Zinke said that criticism that the flights were a misuse of funds was “a wild departure from reality.”

    But his office admitted error last month after Newsweek revealed that Zinke used nearly $40,000 from a wildfire preparedness fund to pay for flights. The revelation came at a time when state and federal officials in California had just finished fighting two massive wildfires at enormous expense.

    Zinke’s office declined to respond to questions for this article, but has challenged allegations in some reports. A report this month said Zinke failed to disclose that he owned about a thousand shares of a weapons company located in his hometown, Whitefish, Montana.

    Axios reported that Trump “turned on” Zinke for cutting the deal with Florida, which might have violated a law that calls for a multistep process that could take up to a year before making such decisions.
    Walter Cruickshank, BOEM’s acting director, said “no formal decision” had been made on taking Florida off the table. Meanwhile, in an interview, Scott insisted the Florida coast will not be developed for oil and gas, saying Zinke gave him his word.

    Zinke is also under fire by once-friendly Republican governors inland. At least two are speaking against the Interior Department’s plan to expand oil and gas drilling into the heart of an iconic bird’s dwindling habitat, adding to a bipartisan chorus of governors who are concerned about Zinke’s bid to expand energy exploration across federal lands despite environmental risks.
    Interior is planning to auction hundreds of thousands of acres to the oil industry for leases on Wyoming land that is protected to conserve the greater sage grouse, a bird resembling a chicken that only exists in the western United States.

    “We are concerned that this is not the right decision,” Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead (R) wrote in a letter to Zinke in May before reaffirming it in a statement weeks ago. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) co-signed the letter, which stated “Wholesale changes to the land use plans are likely not necessary at this time.”
    Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) has also criticized Zinke’s proposed changes to the plan.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/01/29/its-been-a-rough-year-for-interior-secretary-ryan-zinke-and-its-still-january/

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  4. Ok so their last idea will probably be printing fool’s on Black paper predated entirely Every single character in black MARKER and sent in a plain envelope with no stamp, no return address with no address to sender. I mean really their already that close, they might as well go All the way!

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