Turnabout is FOIA Play

All your FOIA are belong to us.

Mayor Daley announced today -- in the name of "transparency"! -- that the City of Chicago would begin to post all Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests on the city's web site, including the name and organization of each applicant, documents demanded and dates the information was requested and is due to be released.

At the announcement, Daley read from a release. But during questions, he seemed a bit ... gleeful.

A new state law requires the city to maintain a log of requests. But, Daley said,  that Chicago would go "above and beyond".

“If you want transparency in government, you have to have this. I’m sorry. This has nothing to do with the Sun-Times, Tribune, media or anything. This is what you want,” Daley said.

Corporation Counsel Mara Georges noted that the move was an attempt to remove the city from dispute arbitration. Some investigative reporters, she said, try to keep tabs on competitors by “FOIA-ing other peoples’ FOIAs," which increases the city's workload.

By posting the log, she said, “We don’t have to be the arbiter of disputes…to decide who’s gonna get access to other peoples’ FOIAs, who’s gonna get access to the information others are asking about.”

When reporters finished asking questions, Daley smiled.

"Thank you," he said. "Thank you for those headlines."

Check the video for the full monty of self-satisfaction.

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