Pretty bad news on Freedom of Information Act implementation — 48 years after enactment

The Center for Effective Government has issued Making the Grade: Access to Information Scorecard 2014. This report grades the 15 federal agencies that receive the most Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) requests on their implementation of the Act. The report finds that the Act often is not implemented as Congress intended. Read a report card for each of the 15 agencies and a summary of the report's findings. Here are excerpts from the summary:

[T]he Center for Effective Government released a report card grading federal agencies on their implementation of the Freedom of Information Act. The overall results were disappointing: no agency earned a top overall grade of an A, and half received failing grades. The good news is that in each of the three performance areas we investigated, at least one agency earned an A. … The American people, be they journalists, staff of nonprofit organizations, or individual citizens seeking records, request information from federal agencies on a daily basis. Records sought range from data on government spending to toxic chemicals to management of critical programs like Social Security and veterans' affairs. The agencies we examined regularly deal with such a wide range of requests. Responding to these requests is not just a bureaucratic requirement; it is an important step in a larger process to inform the public and hold agencies accountable. The results of our analysis are sobering. None of the 15 agencies earned exemplary scores (an overall A grade), and only eight earned "passing grades" (60 or more out of a possible 100 points). The good news is that at least one agency earned an A in each of three performance areas, proving that excellence is within reach.