Tuesday, January 5, 2010

FOIA Appeal Announced by Coin Collectors

It comes as no surprise (as I anticipated on November 24) to find that the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild (ACCG), the International Association of Professional Numismatists and the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) have appealed against the opinion on the FOIA case brought against the US statement (for details). The appeal was filed on December 22, 2009 (Press Release; statement and document on ACCG website).

The statement, issued under the name of Wayne Sayles, states:
The appeal seeks to overturn Judge Richard J. Leon's November 20th decision to uphold the State Department's (DOS) repression of information about the process by which import restrictions were placed on common collectable coins of Cypriot and Chinese types.
The case of coins from Italy no longer seems to be on the agenda for the three plaintiffs (see court case papers, Count IV: "documents evidencing the potential inclusion of coins on the list of items subject to import restrictions with Italy"). Has something changed?

The press release also makes its view of President Obama clear:
the Judge's decision in this Freedom of Information Act lawsuit came less than a month before President Obama's "Open Government" Progress Report to the American People--where the President proclaims: "My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government..."
Yet the statement overlooks the wording of the original ruling:
... the State Department has established that it conducted a reasonable search, that it properly withheld the disputed information under FOIA exemptions, and that it complied with its obligation to segregate the exempted material from non-exempted material.
The plaintiffs do not appear to appreciate that the FOIA allows exemptions under certain circumstances.

This appeal is so important to two of the three plaintiffs that they have yet to comment on the appeal (or for that matter on the decision, or the case) on their respective websites (PNG, IAPN). No doubt there will further calls for funding from coin-collectors to help the cause. How much have the three plaintiffs had to find so far?

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2 comments:

Pasamonte said...

Thanks for this neccesary blog.

I´ve just read the shameful pamphlet "Who owns antiquity. Museums and the battle over our ancient heritage" by James Cuno, and I found your site looking for more information about the issue.

Greetings from Madrid.

David Gill said...

Thank you for the feedback.
David

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