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The concept of openness hasn’t accelerated the response to Freedom of Information Act requests.

The Freedom of Information Act can be seen at once as a crucial tool, a major hassle and the law of the land. President Obama’s 2009 promise to run “the most transparent administration in history” is considered a joke by many in the so-called civil society groups—despite the efforts of agency FOIA specialists.

Melanie Ann Pustay, director of the Justice Department’s Office of Information Policy, is in her eighth year overseeing implementation of the half-century-old Freedom of Information Act, designed to ensure access to public information—or as some government transparency advocates put it, to “disinfect with sunlight.” She faces myriad obstacles. 

Read more about the FOIA's role in openness here.