Yesterday, in comments, 14 organizations committed to government openness and accountability express concerns that certain provisions in a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed regulations could hinder the FOIA process. The comments provide recommendations on ways the regulations should go further to ensure greater access to public interest information. The comments include recommendations designed to ensure that the proposed HHS FOIA regulations – the first revision since 1988 — uphold requesters’ rights under the FOIA statute, and conform to the new provisions of the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016.
The recommendations to HHS include:
The FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, signed into law by the President on June 30, 2016, requires agencies to review and revise their FOIA regulations in accordance with the new amendments within 180 days from the enactment of the Act. As agencies revise and update their regulations, OTG and our partners monitor agencies’ proposals and issue comments to encourage updated regulations that uphold the public’s right to know and conform to the FOIA, including the new provisions in the FOIA Improvement Act.
Read the comments here.
Additional information on agency FOIA regulations and the FOIA Improvement Act: