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Search Tags: FOIA
Today marks the final day of "Sunshine in Government Week", a time to consider the goals of openness and transparency in government at all levels. Yesterday, a House subcommittee got an update on one of the most important tools in the effort toward government openness: the federal Freedom of Information Act.
FOIA "the power cord that connects the American people to their government."
Dubbed by lawmakers as the "FOIA Ombudsman", the new Office of Government Information Services at the National Archives is supposed to be a government-wide arbitrator when agencies are at loggerheads with members of the public who request information under the Freedom of Information Act. Yesterday, the new director of the OGIS held her first formal briefing with news reporters to discuss progress in setting up the new agency.
President Barack Obama has proposed an open government plan that includes more streamlined responses to FOIA requests, digital record management, a revamped regulations.gov and new measures to promote public participation in government. He presented the plan at a meeting of the international Open Government Partnership in New York.
Not every agency is responding the President's call for transparency - a call that was highlighted in a memorandum signed on President Obama's first day in office.
Legislation has been introduced in the Senate that would strike a section of the recently enacted financial regulation law that exempted the Securities and Exchange Commission from the Freedom of Information Act. On the Money blogger Silla Brush explains.
The Associated Press says it's obtained a thousand emails showing DHS sent FOIA requests to senior political advisers who turned scoured them for information about the requesters and delaying disclosures deemed too politically sensitive. DHS spokesman Sean Smith says, they were just giving senior leadership visibility into FOIA releases to enable the Department to be as responsive as possible. FOIA's are designed to be insulated from political considerations. AP says DHS stopped the practice after their investigation.