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Yes, President

Martin Rosenbaum | 17:55 UK time, Tuesday, 17 June 2008

In Britain the Department of Administrative Affairs is famous as the fictional organisational setting for the TV series 'Yes, Minister', but in the US the White House really does a department called the Office of Administration.

The OA has now found itself at the centre of an FOI-related legal dispute initiated by an activist group. This stems from claims that the White House may have lost millions of emails from its records system. A judge ruled yesterday that the OA doesn't have to disclose its internal assessments of the scope of the problems with the White House email system.

Despite the fact that the OA had been responding to FOI requests for years before this lawsuit started, the judge decided that it was not subject to the Freedom of Information Act as it only performed administrative functions and had no executive authority.

I think Sir Humphrey would have enjoyed that one.


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