You Can Ask, but They Can't Tell

The U.S. Justice Department's Freedom of Information office admitted that its database of lobbyists working for foreign governments, political parties and companies is "so fragile" that making an electronic copy "could result in a major loss of data." The Congressional General Accounting Office has repeatedly stated that the Department's Foreign Registration Unit "lacks the resources to fulfill its responsibilities." The non-profit Center for Public Integrity, which had its Freedom of Information Act request for foreign lobbyist data denied due to technical concerns, noted the irony of the Unit being "under-funded" while "the lobbying activity it is supposed to track and make freely available to the public is extravagant."