Whitehouse Stonewalls DSCOVR Information Request

Read time: 2 mins
If you're not interested in the issue of climate change, fine, but this story is as much about that as it is about a new ruling that further erodes your right to information from your government.
Digging up information on the cancellation of the DSCOVR climate satellite mission has been like pulling teeth. The dental work continued this week, this time with the Whitehouse.

Last month, I filed a Freedom of Information Request (FOIA) to the Office of Administration in Washington DC, asking for copies of any records “relating to the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) mission, formerly known as Triana, from the period January 1, 2000 to the present.” (documents attached to the end of this post).

I then received this strange response from Whitehouse Deputy General Counsel F. Andrew Turley, stating:

“Please be advised that the Office of the Administration, Executive Office of the President is not subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. Your letter therefore is returned without further action.”


I sent my letter to the Freedom of Information Act Officer for the Office of the Administration.

Why would they have one if they are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act?
Also, have a look at this

Whitehouse website:

It clearly states:

The Executive Office of the President (EOP) entities subject to the FOIA are:

  • Council on Environmental Quality
  • Office of Administration
  • Office of Management and Budget
  • Office of National Drug Control Policy
  • Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • United States Trade Representative

Then I received a call back from the Deputy General Counsel, saying that while this is confusing, the Office of the Administration is no longer subject to FOIA due to a “recent legal determination.”

I sure Dick Cheney is very happy about that.

They still have a FOIA officer on staff, doing God knows what.

As more teeth come out, we will let you know.
Update: someone just sent this Washington Post article to us, seems we're pretty justified in our outrage.
Here's the previous stories we've done in our ongoing DSCOVR investigative series:

Part 1: the background

Part 2: How politics conspired to kill DSCOVR

Part 3: Digging for answers from NASA

Part 4: FOIA, NASA, DSCOVR - my acronym hell

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PDF icon whitehouse letter-1.pdf48.83 KB
PDF icon DSCOVR FOIA Sept-07.pdf67.18 KB
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It seems basically they want to cover up the reasons that led to them ‘losing’ several thousand emails.


Thanks for the link, updated the story - what a lame excuse for  shutting down access to entire department! Throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  

What legal recourse do we have? Does it involve US attorneys? Or do we simply have to rely on the disinfecting power of sunshine?

Thank you! I added a blog about this on my site, hopefully more people will read and link back to you.

I have been hoping Triana would get more exposure, or even see the light of day SOME DAY. Too bad about STS-117…we might have seen it launched.


Thanks! Greg

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