The U.S. Department of the Interior is effectively ignoring six attempts by the Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Ombudsman to mediate FOIA requests dating back to February 2015.Continue reading
As we audit the public data catalogs of federal agencies, we found a wide variety in quantity and quality of data. Here, we look at the departments of Defense and the Interior.Continue reading
As the millions of gallons of oil continues to spill into the Gulf of Mexico, the Department of Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Services has started an uphill battle with their rescue efforts. The agency has deployed a 200-person workforce in the area who are reviewing the natural habitats affected by the oil spill.
For environmentalists and reporters covering the vast and prolonged damage the oil spill can cause, here’s a list of wildlife refuges that can be affected released by the Fisheries and Wildlife Services.
And, to check on various species of endangered wildlife that could be affected ...
You can't make this stuff up.
Earlier this month, a federal judge's ruling lifted a seven-year court order that prevented 10,000 federal employees in hundreds of offices nationwide to be connected to the Internet at their desks. he employees work for five agencies within the U.S. Department of the Interior, with the Bureau of Indian Affair being one.
The ruling came out of a class-action suit brought by Native Americans who charge the Interior Department has botched trust records and accounts dealing with their land. Employees will now be connected to the Internet and email at their computers, and will no longer be forced to leave their desks to use a set of limited number of computers and fax machines.
Sp much for government working in the connected age.Continue reading
It's amazing what we learn when sunlight shines on the darkest corners of government. In a statement released today Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), we learn that PEER has received a flow of internal e-mails from scientists at the Department of the Interior that undermine the legality of its aggressive offshore oil and gas lease sales in federal Arctic waters. The e-mails make the case that the Bush administration did not adequately consider environmental risks prior to offering tracts in Alaskan waters as it is required to do by law.
PEER has released the emails to the public over the past several weeks, prompting two lawsuits to be filed against the administration. Native tribes and conservation groups are suing the Department of Interior for not fulfilling its legal obligation to consider environmental concerns when deciding the fate of such a development. Another suit charges the administration withheld public documents relating to the oil leases in violation of the Freedom of Information Act.
Thanks to the courageous whistleblowers at Interior and the work of PEER we are getting an unusually graphic view of what happens when government operates in the dark.Continue reading