The Washington Post

Obamacare Web site not the only one malfunctioning

The calamitous Obamacare Web site is not the only government Web site malfunctioning these days.

Seems the Freedom of Information Act site (, that is  used by a number of smaller federal agencies — and had been used until recently by the Treasury Department — has also been down since the middle of last week, according to “Andrew” on the site’s  help desk. (He said they don’t give out last names.)

For now, visitors are greeted with a message advising: “We are experiencing technical difficulties and we are working to resolve them. We appreciate your patience as we work to keep the site operating at peak performance.

The FOIA online Web site, which went up about a year ago, appears to be having a problem with the server, Andrew told us. “It got slow,” and restarting it didn’t work, and finally “it got so bad we had to take it down,” he said. Naturally, it’s unclear when all this will be worked out.

The move to electronic FOIA has been promoted by open-government groups and the Obama administration as a way to improve media, citizens and business access to government documents. And, when it is functioning, it can do just that.

In the meantime, folks trying to get electronic FOIA  info from agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, Customs and Border Patrol, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and others will have to sit tight — or go back to the days of paper.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
The Republicans debated Saturday night. The New Hampshire primary is Feb. 9. Get caught up on the race.
Highlights from Saturday's GOP debate
Except for an eminent domain attack from Bush, Trump largely avoided strikes from other candidates.

Christie went after Rubio for never having been a chief executive and for relying on talking points.

Carson tried to answer a question on Obamacare by lamenting that he hadn't been asked an earlier question about North Korea.
The GOP debate in 3 minutes
Play Video
We have all donors in the audience. And the reason they're booing me? I don't want their money!
Donald Trump, after the debate crowd at St. Anselm's College booed him for telling Jeb Bush to be "quiet."
Play Video
New Hampshire polling averages
Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in the next state to vote, but Marco Rubio has recently seen a jump in his support, according to polls.
New Hampshire polling averages
A victory in New Hampshire revitalized Hillary Clinton's demoralized campaign in 2008. But this time, she's trailing Bernie Sanders, from neighboring Vermont. She's planning to head Sunday to Flint, Mich., where a cost-saving decision led to poisonous levels of lead in the water of the poor, heavily black, rust-belt city. 
55% 38%
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
State of the race

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.