Duncan's Schedule: Redacted, Incomplete, & Late
It's Sunshine Week, all about government transparency, and the Obama administration continues to boast about its FOIA record (though not everyone seems to believe them). Seems like as good a time as any to tell the story of how, way back in 2009, I FOIA'd Arne Duncan's meeting schedule and call lists. The White House was giving out a list of visitors and I figured Duncan's meetings should be public, too. Plus I was curious about who he was meeting with and what they were cooking up. Fast forward two and half years to January, 2012, when I received a response. The calendar was redacted (in white, not black). There was no call log information. The time period was limited to January to August, 2009. Click below to check it out. Note that the New Yorker and other publications have FOIAd and received not only guest logs and meeting schedules but also decision memos between the President and his staff. Why those are available and this is not is beyond me. I've appealed the Department's response and anticipate getting an answer to my appeal sometime in 2014.
There are two categories of items that were redacted, one for "deliberative, pre-decisional items" (the majority) and the second for personal items.