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10 Years of Opening the Government

On May 8 OpenTheGovernment.org will be celebrating our 10th anniversary. Click here to see interviewers with and statements from our founders, funders, and champions!

Improving Access

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), enacted in 1966 and amended several times, establishes the public's right to obtain information from federal government agencies to "ensure an informed citizenry, vital to the functioning of a democratic society, needed to check against corruption, and to hold the governors accountable to the governed." OpenTheGovernment.org works with our partners, the Administration, and Congress to secure full implementation of the FOIA, the amendments to it, and the FOIA reform promised by the White House and the Attorney General

Justice's Opportunities to Make FOIA Work Better for the Public

After our recent meeting with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to discuss the open government community's ideas for how to make the department more open and accountable, the Associate Attorney General, Tony West, invited us to speak with DOJ's FOIA Council. The Council is a group of agency officials from all of DOJ's components that meet on a quarterly basis to discuss how they can improve DOJ's processing of FOIA requests.

DOD FOIA Response Adds a New Meaning to the Term "Snail Mail"

In today's mail we received a new example that illustrates why we called the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) "anything but an efficient and effective tool that the public can use to get timely access to government records" in our recent testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee: a final response to a FOIA request we made to the Department of Defense (DOD) almost a year and a half ago, and that DOD had told use to expect within "

FOIA Under Scrutiny for Sunshine Week

Sunshine Week officially began on Monday, but OpenTheGovernment.org and many of our partners began the celebration early, paying particular attention to the Freedom of Information Act.

Testimony: Reinvigorating the FOIA for the Digital Age

Full text is below. Watch the testimony here. Amy Bennett's full written testimony is available here

Clinton White House Records Released, No Assertion of Privilege

On February 28th, the former President’s Library released several thousand pages of records from the Clinton White House. Under the Presidential Records Act, records may be withheld for processing for up to 12 years after a president leaves office.

Groups Support House Passage of FOIA Bill

More than two dozen organizations (including OpenTheGovernment.org) joined the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) in supporting passage of H.R. 1211, a bill to improve the government's processing of requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The House is expected to vote on the bill tomorrow afternoon (February 25). Click on "read more" to see the letter, and the signatories.

The Time is Ripe for Increased Access to Congressional Mandated Reports

Twenty organizations dedicated to transparency and accountability called on Congress to consider the bipartisan Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act (H.R. 1380). The legislation would require any congressionally mandated report that is releasable under the Freedom of Information Act be made available online by the Government Printing Office. The common-sense legislation would create one central and searchable repository for the reports, which are currently difficult to find.

Bringing a Focus on the Freedom of Information Act

Over the past few months, OpenTheGovernment.org has been working to bring a renewed focus to how the open government community can work together to address some of the major issues with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Celebrate 10 Years of OTG

On May 8 we will be hosting a 10th anniversary celebration in DC. Learn more about the party here

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