CREW requests copies of all records pertaining or referring to an administrative hold or review, sometimes termed an “awareness review” or “senior management review,” on any FOIA request submitted from February 17, 2017 to the present.
The EPA has been described as “ground zero” in the Trump administration’s efforts to control and delay agency responses to FOIA requests. Reportedly “high-level officials” at EPA are involved in reviewing FOIA responses before they are publicly released. This is happening while, under the direction of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the agency has altered many of its transparency practices, making its actions far less accessible to the public. Just today it was reported that political appointees at EPA are more tightly vetting FOIA requests under the guise of an “awareness review” or “senior management review.” The requested documents would shed further light on this practice and help the public evaluate the extent to which the FOIA process at EPA has been coopted by political forces, resulting in unprecedented and unnecessary delay in the agency’s FOIA responses.