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Search Tags: FOIA
A government transparency group has sued 10 departments for withholding documents it requested under the Freedom of Information Request Act. Cause of Action also sued the Office of Management and Budget and the IRS on the same grounds. Executive Director Dan Epstein joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss the whys and wherefores of the lawsuits.
The year 2012 saw more Freedom of Information Act requests than any time in the law's history. The Administrative Conference of the United States says about 650,000 requests came in and it cost the federal government at least $23 million in litigation costs, and it considers that cost a conservative estimate. Gavin Baker is an open government analyst at the Center for Effective Government. He wrote about the recommendations in the center's blog, The Fine Print, and shared them on In Depth with Jared Serbu.
Ginger McCall, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, says agencies need better FOIA regulations and a cultural change toward transparency.
Congress is considering a bill to streamline the way agencies respond to the Freedom of Information Act requests. As things stand now, 99 agencies each respond to FOIA requests differently. With the Justice Department leading interagency talks, a plan is underway to fix the inconsistencies FOIA requesters face when dealing with multiple agencies. Advocacy groups like the Electronic Privacy Information Center have their own sets of recommendations. Ginger McCall, associate director of EPIC, joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss problems with the administration's recommendations. Read Federal News Radio's related article.
Why can't the government do a better job at Freedom of Information Act requests?
The FOIA Act of 2014 would amend the Freedom of Information Act in 12 ways. It calls for the online portal and requires more oversight by agency inspectors general. But some agency FOIA officers say the bill only would improve the information disclosure process minimally.
Tags: management , transparency , Darrell Issa , Ali Ahmed , Lauren Barlow , Krista Boyd , Nathan Hallford , House Oversight and Government Reform Committee , Senate Judiciary Committee , Sunshine Week , American University Washington College of Law , Jason Miller
The Center for Effective Government evaluated how well the 15 agencies that receive 90 percent of all Freedom of Information Act requests from the public process those requests. It found most of those agencies receive poor or failing grades in how they are implementing FOIA.
A new memo from CTO Todd Park requires agencies to update their open government plans by June 1. The plans should include new efforts as well as progress reports on current initiatives.
Tags: management , open government , transparency , technology , Todd Park , Office of Science and Technology Policy , OMB , Nick Sinai , Corinna Zarek , Gavin Baker , Center for Effective Government , Jason Miller