Friday, January 11, 2008

Freedom of Information Act passes-- requesting info from federal government now easier - SendMeRSS

Watchdog blog from Public Citizen reports on the legislative history of the recent FOIA bill signed into law by President Bush on December 31st.

For more than 40 years, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has been the
pillar of the framework for transparent government – the primary advocacy
instrument for deterring and exposing unchecked executive power. However,
since 9/11, FOIA has been hobbled by a doctrine of secrecy executed with
administrative delays and ploys to keep government records "in the shadows."
The OPEN Government Act, signed into law on December 31, is the
first legislative update to FOIA since 1996 and a reassertion of checks and
balances. Now it will be easier for people to get information from their
government. The law provides for an online tracking system for requesters,
a government-wide office to deal with disputes and concerns, penalties for
offices that take too long to respond, a limit to agency "search" and
"duplication" fees, and reimbursement of attorney fees in some situations where
requesters must go to court.

All Things Reform has FOIA databases for your reference in the left-hand column.
Link - Fri, 11 Jan 2008 18:47:18 GMT - Feed (8 subs)

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