My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

In Focus: Freedom of Information Act Requests

MyTwoCensus.com is apparently not the ONLY source that files Freedom of Information Act requests with the Census Bureau. Yesterday, MyTwoCensus obtained a  list of all FOIA requests to the Census Bureau (click HERE). The report covers the period from July 6, 2009 through August 28, 2009. During that time there were 48 requests for information, so roughly one per day. Of those requests, the 16 where names are blocked out represent Census Bureau employees trying to obtain their own data or individuals searching for personal records (like birth certificates). Of the records in the report, the following results are evident:

12 of the requests could not be fulfilled due to no suitable information being available.

5 of the requests were denied because the requester could not pay the fees (Scroll down to VII on this report to read about who gets fee waivers!)

4 of the requests asked for information that was already publicly available.

2 of the requests were withdrawns.

My personal requests took 20, 24 and 30 days before I had the information I requested, and all three of my requests were only partially granted — two with quite a bit of redacted information.

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4 Responses to “In Focus: Freedom of Information Act Requests”

  1. Analyzing Website Traffic Says:

    [...] My Two Census » Blog Archive » In Focus: Freedom of Information Act Requests [...]

  2. My Two Census » Blog Archive » MyTwoCensus Editorial: The Mainstream Media Has Failed America Says:

    [...] the only journalist who is pursuing such information from the Census Bureau, as evidenced by my tracking of FOIA requests. Local, regional, state, and national news organizations should have reporters covering the 2010 [...]

  3. My Two Census » Blog Archive » Holder to look into gov’t use of FOIA exemptions Says:

    [...] about the following snippet that comes from the Associated Press. As many of you know, I have filed multiple Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to obtain information from the Census Bureau, yet many of these requests remain unfulfilled or [...]

  4. My Two Census » Blog Archive » Let the Freedom (of information) Summer begin! Says:

    [...] FOIA requests five times per week throughout the summer. As you already read in a previous post, the Census Bureau’s FOIA staff doesn’t get all that many requests, so I’m going to make them work a bit harder to encourage more government [...]