D.C. agency EFOIA compliance

  Often, it was not clear what information among the many materials posted specifically fell under the umbrella of the legal mandate.

  This audit is purely descriptive. It reports what was found that specifically or generally conforms to the law and its intent that citizens have online access to certain kinds of information about their government.

  It was not possible, within the constraints of the review, to determine, in instances where some records responsive to the law were posted, whether other records that fall within the law’s mandate exist in agency files but have not been posted.

  Nonetheless, the review showed wide disparities in compliance with the electronic records posting requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. And overall, the agencies appear to have failed to post any relevant information almost half the time.

  Here, in tabular form, is what we found:

 

Information
Found
Some Data Found
Nothing
Found
Not
Applicable
Other
FOIA Request Data
44
 
8
 
2
Staff, Salary Data
1
18
23
 
13
Manuals, Staff Instructions
13
10
28
 
3
Ruies and Policies
30
10
10
4
 
Opinions, Orders
17
 
9
21
7
Regulatory, Enforcement Correspondence
20
17
12
5
 
Contract, Account Data
7
7
40
 
 
Meeting Minutes
11
7
24
12
 
Frequent FOIA Requests
11
3
40
 
 
Index of FOIA Act Items
1
 
53
 
 

  The most egregious failure was failure to post an index to the records the law requires each agency post onlne. Only one of the 54 agencies met this requirement.

  And only one agency met the charge to post on its website “the names, salaries, titles, and dates of employment of all employees and officers.” The Department of Human Resources does provide an Employee Compensation page that lists citywide Salary Schedules, which show the pay ranges for each employee grade. There is nothing to show the actual compensation of any particular employee or official.

  In some instances, agency sites linked viewers to the online D.C. Municipal Regulations and D.C. Register, www.dcregs.org, to provide information that fell into one or more of the mandated categories. That site is provided by the Secretary of the District of Columbia and the Office of Documents and Administrative Issuances. It includes rulings, Mayor’s orders and documents of some agencies.

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