1/ And now for a Freedom of Information pro-tip of the day:
If a government agency is denying your request for a copy of records or internal e-mails or what-have-you, for no apparent logical or legal reason, go make a new FOI request for their staffers' 📅 DAILY CALENDARS. 📅
2/ Yes, you really can make agencies print out and send a day-by-day PDF of each of their employees' Outlook calendars (and they almost always use Outlook). Just make sure to give them a start and end date for the data export.
You would be AMAZED at what you can find in there.
3/ The names of all the people they met with. The subjects of the boardroom and phone and video conferences they held. The weekly project check-ins.
The companies to whom they are planning to sell exclusive access to our public records.
(Ooops, did we say that part out loud?)
4/ In just the past few months, we've now had two different FOI lawsuits in two different jurisdictions where our getting contemporaneous access to those government agencies' staffers' daily calendars has been so very enlightening to our legal strategies.
5/ Like, it's kinda hard for Agency/Library/Archive X to be all "oh nooooo, we def can't give a copy of those records to you under FOIL" when you also have proof from their calendars they also had meetings to SELL those same records to a company -- and met multiple times in 2018.
7/ So, yeah.
📅 GET THEIR CALENDARS 📅
Because they can and do lie about being wholly unable to search their department e-mails for certain words or domain names. But no one is going to believe they can't do a one-click export from Outlook.
(Shout out to @alccalz.)