WASHINGTON, June 13, 2016 – Today, the House passed the FOIA Improvement Act (S.337), bringing the comprehensive FOIA reform bill one step closer to becoming law. The FOIA Improvement Act passed the Senate by unanimous consent on March and, in a bicameral & bipartisan effort to ensure the FOIA legislation is signed into law during this Congress, House leadership decided to vote on the Senate version, and send the bill to the White House for the President’s signature.
Today, more than 30 organizations committed to government openness and accountability are calling for the immediate removal of three exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) from the Senate National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2017 (S. 2943). The FOIA exemptions would severely undermine the FOIA by creating an unnecessary secrecy provision at odds with FOIA’s goal of transparency and a carve-out to the FOIA for the Pentagon.
Coalition expresses concern over FBI proposal to exempt biometrics database from Privacy Act protections
OpenTheGovernment.org has joined a coalition of civil rights, human rights, immigrant rights, privacy and transparency organizations, and companies in expressing concern over an FBI proposal to exempt its extraordinary biometrics database – the Next Generation Identification (NGI) system --from virtually every key provision of the Privacy Act.
The Senate Judiciary Committee held an open hearing on Tuesday on Section 702, a legal provision of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) allowing warrantless acquisition of the communications of foreigners outside the U.S. The hearing marked the first formal review by the Senate of potential changes needed to Section 702 of the law, which is set to expire in December 2017.
In a show of bipartisan and bicameral support for greater access to information, Congressional leaders have requested the Government Accountability Office conduct a comprehensive review of federal agency compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).