In creating the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Congress charged the office with the dual responsibility of mediating disputes regarding Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests between requesters and federal agencies, and providing Congress and the President with recommendations on how to improve agencies compliance with the FOIA. At five years old, OGIS faces challenges and changes.
A recent article in Federal Computer Week started off with the questions, "Could FOIA Work on a DATA Act Model?" The short answer to that question is no. The more complete version of the answer is no, but it would help the FOIA system work better for the public. Turning FOIA into a law that actually provides timely access to records the public wants to help it better understand what the government is doing and why, however, requires other reforms.
On October 23, fifty organizations joined an effort headed by Citizens for Responsibility in Ethics in Washington (CREW) to ask the President to publicly go on record in support of legislative reforms to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). As the letter points out, these reforms -- all of which are included in the bipartisan FOIA Improvement Act currently pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee -- are critical for achieving the unprecedented levels of openness promised by the President on his first day in office.
n response to reports the CIA infiltrated computers used by Senate staff to investigate the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, the Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a FOIA request for the CIA Inspector General’s report on the infiltration. After receiving no response, EPIC sued for the report to be released.
On October 31st, OpenTheGovernment.org, the Newseum Institute, and the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) will host a half-day event examining OGIS’s successes and challenges in its first five years of operation. OGIS is tasked with mediating FOIA disputes and monitoring agency compliance with the law.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is seeking information under FOIA on several fronts. EPIC filed a new case regarding the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s 2012 e-voting security report.
In advance of International Right to Know Day (September 28), we thought it would be fun to put together a quick quiz to see how much you know about the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and why it's time to pass the FOIA Improvement Act. If the embedded quiz does not launch in your browser, please take the quiz here: https://www.proprofs.com/quiz-school/story.php?title=ODA2ODUzCL00
Earlier this summer longtime champions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced S. 2520, the FOIA Improvement Act. The bill builds on several reforms that were included in a bill passed unanimously by the House (HR 1211) and, crucially, puts limits around the use of one of the most overused and abused exemptions in the law. The fact that more than 50 organizations from across the political spectrum and with a wide variety of missions joined in supporting the bill shortly after its release is a tribute to how important it is for the Senate to pass S. 2520. It’s important to understand, though, exactly what the bill will and will not do. Below we take you through some assumptions that you might make about the possible effect of passing the bill.
Last week the DC Circuit Court issued a ruling vacating a previous ruling from a lower court that a Presidential Directive in the possession of a federal agency is not an agency record subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
On July 20th, the Washington Post published Executive Director Patrice McDermott’s letter to the editor, responding to a July 13th Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/congress-is-overdue-in-dealing-w…