The Justice Department has won the Rosemary Award for the second year in a row, an award that honors the federal agency with the “worst open government performance” of 2012.
The National Security Archive announced Friday it was bestowing the Rosemary Award—named after Nixon secretary Rose Mary Woods, who “accidentally” erased portions of the Watergate tapes—on the Justice Department for continuing to flout congressional and executive orders to improve transparency.
Justice “clinched the intensely competitive award” with the Wednesday appearance by the director of the department’s Office of Information Policy, Melanie Pustay, before the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to a press release announcing DOJ’s win.
Pustay testified that updating agency Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regulations was optional, “‘not required,’ after Congress changed the law in 2007 or when the president and the attorney general changed the policy in 2009.”
Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.) coauthored the OPEN Government Act of 2007, which ordered federal agencies to update their FOIA regulations and practices.
Pustay said the Justice Department is in the midst of updating its regulations.
“It’s been five years since we changed the law,” Leahy shot back. “It took me less time to get through law school!”
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