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Government Cans Proposal to Hide Records

Controversial FOIA proposal would have allowed the government to say certain records didn’t exist, even if they did. The Department of Justice has pulled that proposal.

Last week, we reported that a proposed Freedom of Information Act rule from the U.S. Department of Justice would allow agencies to tell requesters of certain law-enforcement or national security records that the information did not exist -- even if it did.

The measure riled open-government advocates and some members of Congress, who have pushed for greater federal transparency.

Thursday, DOJ said it had withdrawn the measure from its final regulations.

In a letter to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, one of several members of Congress who had questioned the proposal, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich said that the measure would not be included in the DOJ's final rule.

"The Justice Department decided that misleading the American people would be wrong, and made the right decision to pull the proposed regulation," Sen. Grassley said in a statement.

The Justice Department has not set a date for when it plans to release its final regulations.

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