Secretary of State John Kerry has created a new position to improve the department’s handling of documents amid a growing flood of requests under public-records laws and intense scrutiny of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email system when leading the State Department.
Amb. Janice Jacobs, formerly the assistant secretary for consular affairs, in the new position of “transparency coordinator” has a mandate to improve “document preservation and transparency systems,” Kerry said in a statement.
Kerry said he has tasked Jacobs with “improving our systems for responding to Freedom of Information Act and congressional requests faster and more efficiently.”
Jacobs, who has held various roles at State dating back to 1980, will lead efforts to respond to an ongoing review by State’s inspector general that Kerry requested in March, and wider Obama administration efforts to improve records management, he said.
The move is the latest fallout from the revelation in March that Clinton, currently the front-runner for the Democratic White House nomination, used both a private email address and a private server during her time as secretary of State.
State is currently vetting thousands of pages of Clinton’s emails that she provided to the department late last year, and is now releasing them in monthly batches under a court order. The task is consuming a major portion of the resources of the department’s FOIA office.