OpenTheGov Blog Tracks, Compares FOIA Processes

OpenTheGovernment.org recently launched a blog, Managing FOIA, to compare the experience using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) at different federal agencies.

The blog tracks the progress of our request at 17 agencies. Three of the requests were made using the recently-launched FOIAonline website. The remaining requests were made using either the agency's online submission form or via email to the 14 agencies that received the highest number of requests in 2011.

All of the requests seek copies of the report agencies were required to submit to the Archivist and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to the Presidential Memorandum on Records Management. The reports, which were due around April 1, 2012, informed the August Records Management Directive. We know that a lot of the material in these reports is likely to be exempt under FOIA because it is pre-decisional information (exemption 5), but there might be some interesting differences in how agencies used this discretionary exemption.

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