From 2004 to 2008, CJOG quantitative analyzed federal agencies' FOIA performance and monitored open government issues, while helping create "Sunshine Week" and the Sunshine in Government Initiative, as well as other efforts to open government. Below are some of the reports it produced through that time.
You can search the complete CJOG archive through the box below.
CJOG Closes Doors
After four years of operation under the leadership of Pete Weitzel, former editor of the Miami Herald and founder of the Florida First Amendment Foundation, in July 2008, the Coalition of Journalists for Open Government closed its doors.
The CJOG website will be available as an archive of research and we will be adding the best of CJOG reports and analyses to this page. CJOG published several reports analyzing federal agency's FOIA performance and proved independent FOIA analysis is critical to getting a strong handle on how agencies are processing FOIA requests.2008-08-22
April 13, 2009 -- Despite reforms enacted by Congress and an order from the last administration to do a better job, federal agencies continue to give those seeking information a frustrating and oftentimes unsatisfying experience, an analysis of federal agency FOIA reports shows.
With the closure of CJOG, the Sunshine in Government Initiative is continuing to analyze how well (or poorly) federal agencies are handling FOIA requests. See complete data on 2008 FOIA performance here, including charts and spreadsheets for download and your analysis.2010-01-27
"Still Waiting After All These Years: A New Look at FOIA Delays" (August 2007)
Still Waiting After All These Years, an August 2007 analysis of Freedom of Information Act performance, shows that service continues to frustrate requesters, despite a presidential directive ordering agencies to improve agency response. Over the past nine years that agencies have been reporting performance data, the number of FOIA requests processed has fallen 20%, the number of FOIA personnel is down 10%, the backlog has tripled, and the cost of handling a request is up 79%.
The study includes additional data and detail in Part II: A Further Look at Performance Records. 2007-08-08
Businesses Account for More than 60 Percent of 3rd Party FOIA Requests (7/3/06)
The media account for just six percent of FOIA requests, a new CJOG study, "Who Uses FOIA," shows. By far the heaviest use of the Freedom of Information Act comes from the nation's businesses, seeking government records on contracts or for a host of other commercial uses. Often they work through information brokers to mask their own identity.2008-08-22
Exemptions Become the Rule in Handling FOIA Requests (11/22/05)
A 2005 study by the Coalition of Journalists for Open Government documents that federal agencies are releasing markedly less information through the Freedom of Information Act than they did just five years ago. The CJOG analysis shows the use of FOIA exemptions to withhold information increased 22 percent between 2000 and 2004, despite the fact that federal agencies responded to 13 percent fewer requests for information. The exemptions most frequently used to say "no" to requesters were those recommended by Attorney General John Ashcroft in his 2001 memorandum and by White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card in a directive six months later. 2008-08-22
Filing a FOIA Lawsuit Rarely Results in Full Victory
CJOG review of Justice Department reports on litigation results over a six-year period (1998 - 2004) shows that filing a law suit to obtain records withheld under FOIA is a remedy of last resort. Most filers lose – and increasingly those who win records access fail to obtain any financial reimbursement for legal funds spent. The study by CJOG showed government agencies spent more than $18 million in 2004 defending FOIA lawsuits.2008-08-22
Search the CJOG archive and more. Use the form below to search the web site of The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, which includes the complete archive of CJOG articles and reports.