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Less speed, less haste

Martin Rosenbaum | 12:43 UK time, Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Tomorrow is the 40th anniversary of the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act in the US.

The National Security Archive, a research organisation which uses FOI extensively, has marked the occasion with a survey published yesterday about the information requests that have been unanswered for longest. It shows the State Department has at least ten requests which it has not yet dealt with over fifteen years after they were received.

But don't despair - it doesn't mean they will never be answered, judging anyway from this case of information being disclosed eighteen years after it was asked for.

Still, some information is available at the click of a mouse. I've noted before the different attitudes in the UK and the US to the privacy of individuals' financial information, where those individuals are public employees. I've now come across this site (HT: Mike Ravnitzky) which allows you to search for the salary details of many US federal employees by name.

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