President Obama has claimed since his first day in the Oval Office that his administration would be "the most transparent" in history.
But the nonprofit watchdog group Cause of Action is challenging the Obama claim in a federal lawsuit against 12 federal agencies, including the Office of Management and Budget and the Internal Revenue Service.
The group says the departments complied with White House intervention in a manner that obstruct their compliance with the federal Freedom of Information Act and other laws and regulations requiring transparency and preservation of government documents.
The records Cause of Action hopes to receive though the lawsuit will reveal "whether and how the White House politicizes records requests sent to federal agencies,” the group said.
In addition to the OMB and IRS, the departments named in the Cause of Action suit include Homeland Security, Justice, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, State, Veterans Affairs, Defense, Health and Human Services, Energy and the Treasury.
All of the department have gone an average of eight months without producing requested documents on how the White House reviews and advises on dealing with FOIA requests, according to Cause of Action.
"Cause of Action’s own investigation reveals that the White House is actually demanding access from agencies to Freedom of Information Act requests and congressional document requests, as well as the documents subject to those requests, in a manner that may obstruct congressional oversight and violate the spirit of FOIA,” said Dan Epstein, the organization's executive director.