28 April 2012

VA Charges Outrageous Fees to Block Release of Documents!

Some time ago our association (through LtCol Paul Bailey) filed a very detailed FOIA with the VA, seeking documents relating to the VA's preparation for, participation in, and results following the conference with them, hosted by Senator Burr's staff on March 8 in Washington DC.

In a timely manner, the VA responded, and wow! The VA responded slammed us hard!

First was their refusal to expedite delivery of the documents requested and a refusal to provide them at no charge, the government's usual position in releasing materials to the public. Then, yesterday, we received a bill for $4,800, required for them to proceed with the document search and necessary before any materials can be released to us!

This clearly amounts to construction of a barrier against our access to public documents...documents vital to establishing our claim to service-connection for our Agent Orange-preseumptive illnesses.

Our next step will be an appeal of their decisions, and we hope to be joined in this with several researchers, journalists and other veterans' organizations.

Stay tuned...we're not giving up!

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