As part of our reporting, we requested several Deloitte contracts unrelated to the vaccine system from the FDA. That agency also revised similar information.
“It’s basically a rubber stamp“
All revisions cite a rule in the Freedom of Information Act, commonly referred to as Exemption 4, Which allows companies to hide “commercial information” such as trade secrets from the public.
The contractor, not the government, decides what is considered sensitive information. When a government agency receives a request for records, it sends that request to contractors, who mark what they want to keep a secret.
Companies are free to call contract details “confidential business information”, thanks to prof Resolution 2019 By the Supreme Court. Before that, companies had to explain why publishing information was causing “significant harm” to their business.
Now all the agency has to do is get an affidavit from someone in the company that says, “We treat this as confidential business information.” Period. Victoria Paranitsky, General Counsel at the Center for Investigative Reporting, says complete halt. “It’s basically a rubber stamp.”