Postal Regulatory Commission also on ” no documents” provided list of Federal Agencies
In a news release from National Security Archive at George Washington University:
“The 2011 Knight Open Government Survey team filed FOIA request with all 90 agencies that have chief FOIA officers asking for copies of concrete changes in their FOIA regulations, manuals, training materials, or processing guidance as a result of the “Day One” Obama memorandum, and the March 2010 White House memorandum from then-Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and White House Counsel Bob Bauer. The Emanuel-Bauer memo told agencies to 1) update all FOIA material, and 2) assess whether FOIA resources were adequate.
In one egregious case, the U.S. Postal Service stated it had “no responsive records.” It said it had never received the Emanuel-Bauer memo asking for progress to be shown in response to President Obama’s first-day call for openness.
“Perhaps the Postal Service lost that memo in the mail,” commented Nate Jones, the Archive’s FOIA coordinator who managed the Knight Survey requests.
The agencies that claimed no records could be found or withheld documents under the b(5) exemption show signs of poor or obtuse FOIA practices. Documents demonstrating concrete changes should be publicly available – other agencies with positive responses showed action through annual FOIA officer reports and updated FOIA guides. In their response, the United States Postal Service claimed that they had not received the Emanuel‐Bauer memorandum, and thus had no documents pertaining to it.
One of the more interesting responses we received was from the United States Postal Service which wrote that it had “no record” of receiving the “Emanuel‐Bauer Memo.” Despite this claim, the USPS added that it had taken steps to address the very issues that the memo identified. However, our methodology identified the USPS as responding with “no records.” In the US federal bureaucracy, if there is no paper trail, it is likely that nothing substantial happened.
Partial USPS written response: