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Gov't wants $522K to comply with FOIA request



The Treasury Department wants more than $500,000 to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request, a fee an attorney on the case suggested Tuesday might be one of the largest bills of its kind.

“I have not seen one that has been larger,” said Noah Wood, a Missouri attorney suing the government to comply with his nearly four-year-old FOIA request.

[...]Still, the government wants Wood to pay $522,886 for the records. The original tab was more than $26,000, but after some revisions in what Wood was seeking, the government upped the ante — even though not all information sought would be forthcoming, according to the bill.

The monstrous tab, according to a Treasury Department internal audit, is about as much as the $527,000 the agency charged last year to process thousands of FOIA requests — recouping what the audit said was about 4.5 percent of its actual costs.

What’s more, Wood said a former Treasury Department official working with him notified the agency to the exact whereabouts of the information.

“We basically told them the exact file cabinet it was in,” Wood said in a telephone interview.

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