FBI Wins 2009 Rosemary Award for Poor FOIA Compliance

Presented for poor compliance with the Freedom of Information Act, the National Security Archive recently awarded its fifth annual Rosemary Award to the Federal Bureau of Information (FBI).  Complex FOIA requests submitted to the FBI take an average of 374 days to complete, and despite this long wait only 0.5% of requests were completely fulfilled in 2008.  Thirteen percent were released with redactions and 20% of requests were supposedly not specific enough to complete the request.  An ineffective search process and limited archive prohibits finding many records; since 2005, 66% of requests came back as "no records found."  See here for more statistics about FOIA requests from the FBI. Rose Mary Woods

The Rosemary Award is named for President Richard Nixon's secretary Rose Mary Woods (pictured above), who allegedly erased 18.5 minutes of Watergate conversations accidently when she stretched to answer the phone.  Previous recipients of the award include the Department of the Treasury, the Air Force and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).