Photograph by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images
Failing the FOIA Test
Several major Bloomberg investigations were driven by reporters getting information from government agencies under the Freedom of Information Act. One came from reporters not getting it. The Obama administration promised a new commitment to transparency. To test that, Bloomberg reporters asked 57 federal agencies for information about travel expenses to see which ones would follow the law. Then they waited. And waited. And waited more, long after the deadline had passed. The result: a massive accounting of the failure to provide the public with information, from blown deadlines to the Department of Homeland Security's 231,634 exemptions from the law.