According to the suit as reported by The Guardian, it appears the FBI in specific is not only purposely ‘filling’ Freedom of Information requests with the absolute lowest compliance effort as required by law, it is ignoring the tools they have which would do the expected job the public is requesting.
The DoJ has contended to Shapiro and others that only one of ACS’s three search functions, the Universal Name Index (Uni), is necessary to fulfill the law. The Uni search does not include the text of the files in the ACS, merely search terms entered – or not – by the FBI agent handling the case in question.
I hope (assuming this is true, and I have no reason when considering the government to not think so) that the responsible parties are prosecuted for obstruction. If this means that the DoJ loses a significant number of people – well, they could have done their jobs in good faith. They could have as public servants attempted to serve the public.
Key to our representative republic is the concept that our government be representative and responsive. Purposely not being responsive, and lying by omission by design should be prosecutable. The FBI has already been found to be guilty of unlawfully refusing to comply with FOIA requests earlier this year.