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AP: U.S. set new records for censoring files, denying FOIA requests in 2014

The Associated Press looked at the federal government's 2014 Freedom of Information Act data, released on Tuesday, and wasn't impressed. For the second consecutive year, AP said, the Obama administration "more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them," took longer to hand them over, and more regularly said it couldn't find requested records.

Part of this may be that, as AP concedes, "citizens, journalists, businesses, and others made a record 714,231 requests for information" to 100 federal agencies, costing the government a record $434 million to try and keep up. And it still didn't keep up: More than 200,000 requests remained unanswered as of Jan. 1, 2015.

In 250,581 cases, AP said, government agencies blacked out at least some part of the handed-over document or refused to turn them over at all. In 215,848 other cases, federal agencies said they either couldn't find the record, the requester refused to pay for copies, or the government determined that the request was improper or unreasonable. The White House, using its own metrics, said it turned over 91 percent of requested records, some with parts redacted. You can peruse the data yourself, or read more of AP's analysis.