Interior Department

Inspector General Confirms Investigation as Groups Uncover More Evidence of Political Interference at Interior

Western Values Project, a Montana-based nonprofit conservation group, and Campaign for Accountability, a nonprofit watchdog group focused on public accountability, have uncovered additional evidence of political appointees interfering with public records at the Department of Interior, leading to requests being delayed or withheld – in a potential violation of open records laws. In response, the groups submitted the new information to Interior’s Acting Inspector General as part of a request for an investigation into Interior’s troubling practices. In response to the groups’ request, the Inspector General confirmed an investigation into the practice will begin.

Coalition of Watchdog Groups Calls for IG Investigation of Interior Department’s FOIA Awareness Process

On June 17, 2019, CfA along with American Oversight, American Bridge 21st Century Foundation, Democracy Forward, and Western Values Project, filed a complaint with the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of the Interior (Interior) calling for an investigation of the agency’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Awareness Process.  Political appointees at Interior appear to be using the Awareness Process to interfere with the release of documents in response to FOIA requests.

Watchdog Again Calls for Investigation of David Bernhardt’s Former Lobbying Firm for Lobbying Disclosure Violations

On May 14, 2019, CfA called on the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives to investigate the lobbying firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP and one of its lobbyists, Luke Johnson, for possible violations of the Lobbying Disclosure Act in connection with their representation of Northeast Maglev, a company seeking to build a high-speed train along the Northeast Corridor.

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