The Minerals Management Service (MMS) has been overwhelmed with requests for information about the Gulf oil spill and is responding by eliminating fees, expediting requests, and posting responses on its website, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) noted on June 22.
MMS tells CREW that they are dropping all fees associated with filing Freedom of Information Act requests and are making oil spill-related requests expedited treatment. The agency has also set up a special “reading room” at http://mms.gov/deepwaterreadingroom/ where they are posting FOIA requests and responses related to the spill. So far there are FOIA requests related to the oil spill.
Although required under the 1996 amendments to the Freedom of Information Act, these requirements are routinely ignored, so it is good to see an agency making these steps.
Note: This version corrected the name of CREW.