Top Obama Transparency Official Leaving After 9 Months On The Job

Kathryn Watson 

President Barack Obama’s top transparency official in the “most transparent administration in history” is leaving after only nine months on the job.

Office of Government Information Services Director James Holzer, appointed to the post in August 2015, is stepping down to go back to his old job with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), according to Politico.

Holzer’s departure comes shortly after news outlets reported a record number of Freedom of Information Act lawsuits in federal court in 2015, and that 77 percent of FOIA requests last year were either censored or returned to requesters without any information. Holzer’s office acts as an ombudsman between agencies and the public in FOIA requests. (RELATED: Obama Aministration Lobbied Against FOIA Reform)

Holzer, until last year, was the senior director of FOIA operations at DHS, which returned more partial FOIA responses to requesters than any other agency in the federal government.

Obama pledged during the 2007 campaign that if elected he would bring an unprecedented amount of transparency to the federal government, then claimed in 2013 to have “the most transparent administration in history.”

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