House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) has asked the Department of Homeland Security to provide documents related to its Freedom of Information Act policy — a policy which had political appointees reviewing FOIA requests.
The Associated Press reported in July that political appointees working for Secretary Janet Napolitano were reviewing FOIA requests, gathering information about the requesters and, in some cases, delaying responses.
According to the AP, Issa’s letter shows that the DHS has responded to such reports. The department’s top FOIA official told the committee this fall, according to the letter, that political appointees were only advised of “significant and potentially controversial requests.”
The official apparently told the committee that political appointees had only reviewed response letters for grammatical errors, but did not edit or delay the release of documents. The official also said the DHS had stopped having political appointees review requests after the AP’s story in July.
An Oversight spokesman said Issa wants the documents “because the committee has received documents that raise questions about the veracity of DHS officials.”