Is a FOIA delayed a FOIA denied? (...)
On Jan 4, The New York Times received a final response from the Defense Department to a FOIA request made on June 1, 1997. The department sent it by Federal Express, Priority Overnight.
The courts have ruled that government agencies must respond to FOIA requests in 20 days. But The Times’s case was hardly a record; some requests are approaching 20 years old. (...)
The National Security Archive, a nonprofit group based in Washington that is a heavy user of the Freedom of Information Act, reported last July 4, on the 45th anniversary of President Lyndon B Johnson’s signing of the law, on some older cases that were still open. Those included a 1995 request for information on Pakistani surface-to-air missiles and a 1998 request to the George Bush Presidential Library for documents relating to the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. The bombing happened in 1988.