Red Cross Says Hurricane Spending Info is "Trade Secret," Fights FOIA Request

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 27 2014 5:03 PM

Red Cross Says It Can't Disclose How it Spent Hurricane Sandy Money Because of "Trade Secrets"

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Red Cross volunteers in New Jersey after Sandy.

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

The investigative journalism non-profit ProPublica says the Red Cross is fighting a Freedom of Information Act request about its handling of Hurricane Sandy-related funds on the grounds that such information is a "trade secret."

The documents include "internal and proprietary methodology and procedures for fundraising, confidential information about its internal operations, and confidential financial information," wrote Gabrielle Levin of Gibson Dunn in a letter to the [New York] attorney general's office.
If those details were disclosed, "the American Red Cross would suffer competitive harm because its competitors would be able to mimic the American Red Cross's business model for an increased competitive advantage," Levin wrote.
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The New York attorney general's office has agreed to allow certain information to stay confidential, ProPublica says.

The Red Cross was criticized after Sandy for its slow and inefficient response to the disaster.

Ben Mathis-Lilley edits the Slatest. Follow @Slatest on Twitter.

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