US Agencies Improve Slightly in ATI Scorecard Ratings

11 March 2015

Eight of 15 major U.S. agencies improved their scores on an “Access to Information Scorecard,” according to a report by a nongovernmental organizational, which reported that federal agencies “are still struggling to effectively and consistently implement public disclosure rules.”

The report was the second comparative study by the Center for Effective Government and it concerns the 15 agencies that received over 90 percent of all information requests for each of last two years. Their performance was rated in three areas:

  • The establishment of clear agency rules guiding the release of information and communication with those requesting information;
  • The quality and “user-friendliness” of an agency’s FOIA website; and
  • The timely, complete processing of requests for information.

In summary, the CEG reported:

– Eight out of 15 agencies improved their overall scores this year, and in each of the three performance areas, more agencies received the highest grades (A).

– Only two agencies improved their FOIA policy guidelines, and

– Processing scores actually declined in eight agencies.

– Ten of the agencies failed to achieve a satisfactory overall grade, scoring less than 70 out of a possible 100 points.

The worst score went to the Department of State. The best was for the Department of Agriculture.

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