WASHINGTON, Jan 12 (Reuters) - News channel Fox Business Network sued the U.S. Federal Reserve on Monday, saying that the government has failed to release details on financial companies receiving federal funds.
Fox said it made an initial request on Nov. 10 last year under the Freedom of Information Act. The network asked for the identification of the financial institutions receiving funds and details on the collateral provided by these firms between August 2007 and November 2008.
The network made a second request on Nov. 18, asking for more information on financial firms that received lending from Fed programs. It also asked for the amount of collateral held by the Fed as of Nov. 14.
A Fed spokeswoman did not have a comment on the lawsuit.
The Fed has been a critical player in financial rescue packages for companies such as American International Group Inc (AIG.N) and Citigroup Inc (C.N). It has also opened up its discount window to a wider range of entities in an attempt to provide more liquidity to the financial sector.
The Fed continues to create and fine-tune a number of other programs to support credit availability at a time financial market functioning remains impaired.
“The government has power over possibly trillions of the taxpayers’ money and the fact that they are denying requests for enhanced transparency on the distribution of those funds is appalling,” said Steven Mintz, legal counsel for Fox Business, in a statement.
Fox filed a similar lawsuit in December against the U.S. Treasury Department for what it called a failure to respond to repeated requests for information on how it has allocated the $700 billion bailout fund. (Reporting by Karey Wutkowski, additional reporting by Robert MacMillan in New York, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)