12 Days of Open Government Resolutions – Day 3: Encourage Agencies to Join FOIAOnline

Each post in the series of posts we plan to publish between now and December 25 focuses on a resolution the Obama Administration realistically can use to make the federal government more open and accountable in the coming year. See below for links to previous resolutions.

Open Government Resolution 3 for the Obama Administration – Encourage agencies to join FOIAOnline as soon as possible

FOIAOnline is a service that makes it easier for the public to make and track requests for government information made under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) at participating agencies (see our infographic here). The project was developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with support from the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the Department of Commerce, and launched for the public on October 1, 2012.

We've written extensively about the benefits of moving all of the federal government to the system, including reducing delays and backlogs, making information released under the FOIA more publicly accessible, and saving taxpayers funding to the tune of as much as $200 million over the next five years.

The system is not perfect at this point, but the Administration should encourage all agencies to join as soon as possible, and FOIAOnline's developers should continue to consult with requesters and FOIA processors to improve the system's functionality.

12 Days of Open Government Resolutions for the Obama Administration:

Resolution 1: Begin gathering public input for Version 2 of the US National Action Plan

Resolution 2: Make it easier for the public to track agencies’ open government work

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