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“Interior: Budget Empowers Solicitor As His Turf Expands”

“Interior Solicitor Daniel Jorjani's clout is both accelerated and exemplified by the department's newly released fiscal 2021 proposed budget.

Interior's Office of the Solicitor would expand to 505 full-time employees under the proposed budget made public yesterday.

And while the Interior Department as a whole would take a 13% whack in funding, Jorjani's expanded office would enjoy a 30% boost for direct salaries and expenses. Much of the direct salary and expense increase from $67 million to $87 million would come from consolidating the department's reinforced ethics officers under Jorjani's command.

“There is also [nearly] $2 million in new funding for enhanced departmentwide Freedom of Information Act coordination and response,” added Scott Cameron, Interior's principal deputy assistant secretary for policy, management and budget.

Interior's revamped FOIA operations, too, are now managed out of the Office of the Solicitor. The funding boost would support “greater coordination, tracking, training, and support related to FOIA requests and litigation across Interior,” according to a budget summary.”

Michael Doyle reports for Greenwire February 11, 2020.