The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a powerful tool. It dictates that any document, data, photograph, code, slideshow, email, etc. in possession of your local, state or federal government, can be provided to you, unless the material falls into certain categories exempt from public disclosure.
As such, FOIA is an experiment in radical transparency. Thousands of monumentally important news stories are published every year thanks to documents obtained via FOIA. Activists use FOIA to expose wrongdoing, file lawsuits, and pursue justice. Businesses use FOIA to edge out their competition. And everyday citizens use FOIA to learn a little more about their community.
But FOIA is broken. Government agencies abuse their ability to deem certain material exempt from disclosure. They sometimes charge exorbitant fees for documents that should only take minutes to produce. Worse, they occasionally lie and tell you they don’t have information that they most certainly do.
That’s where I come in. I have years of experience requesting and obtaining government records. Tell me what information you are trying to obtain; I will file the request and handle all of the follow up. I’ll push back on an agency that claims they don’t have information that they ought to have. I’ll work with the agency to get you the materials you want without a price tag, or at least one you can afford. If all else fails, I’ll appeal at no extra cost. You can opt to follow along with the request if you wish to learn more about the process. Or if you just want the documents without the back-and-forth landing in your inbox, that’s fine, too.