White House Office Exempt from FOIA, Justice Dept. Argues

The August 23 Washington Post carried a story detailing how the government, in the course of defending a lawsuit filed by the Center for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, has claimed that in addition to the Executive Office of the President, the Office of the Vice-President, now the Office of Administration at the White House is also exempt from FOIA reporting responsibility, even though that agency, which is responsible for technology, has answered numerous FOIA requests in the past and even has an appointed FOIA compliance officer.

The basis of the lawsuit was a CREW report that White House Officials were using non-government e-mail addresses to avoid official disclosure requirements, such as accounts provided to former Presidential Advisor Karl Rove by the Republican National Committee. CREW charges that five million e-mails have been lost by the Office of Administration.

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