It’s not news that the amount of information available on the web from companies and organizations has exploded in the past ten years.
One big exception is the federal government.
Despite a law passed in 1996 directing federal agencies to make their “most public” materials available on the web, most of them are not following orders.
But the new study by the National Security Archive, a nongovernmental research institute and library located at George Washington University, finds that 10 years after Congress passed “E-FOIA,” agency Web sites distinguish themselves more for cyber-foot-dragging than for streamlined access.
A review of 149 federal agencies found that only 1 in 5 posts on its Web site all the records required and that even fewer — 6 percent — tell people how to request what does not appear there. Two-thirds do not provide indexes to their major records systems, or they provide guides that are so unclear they are worthless. Only 1 in 4 agencies includes an online FOIA submission form on its Web site.
Of course, this all material we’ve already paid for.
Maybe they’re worried we’ll see exactly what we get for our money.