In recent years groups inside and outside of government have created new tools for FOIA administration, such as iFOIA, MuckRock, and FOIA Machine. In addition, the federal government built its own FOIAonline. Local governments, too, are getting into the game. Many years ago we extolled the virtues of agencies building a system to more efficiently receive, track, process and respond to FOIA requests. And Congress included a portal requirement in legislation in FOIA Improvement Act of 2016. FOIA Tools Inside Government FOIA.gov (built and administered by the Department of Justice Office of Information Policy) currently provides an introduction to FOIA, tutorials on [More]
A panel of witnesses told the Senate Judiciary Committee that technology and better records management were keys to improving the Freedom of Information Act. SGI Director Rick Blum pointed to several stories relying in part on FOIA that helped change government action or otherwise make an impact in communities. The hearing was a chance to celebrate enactment of the Freedom of Information Act Improvement, signed into law on June 30, 2016. Also testifying from the media perspective was Professor Dave Cullier on behalf of the Society of Professional Journalists. Blum told the Committee that the government should better manage its records. Amazon [More]
PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 30, 2016 [Link to PDF version] Media coalition celebrates President Obama signing of FOIA reforms into law as FOIA turns 50 on July 4 President Barack Obama’s signature on the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 marks a high point in the half century history of the federal Freedom of Information Act. “We are pleased to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the original Freedom of Information Act with a stronger FOIA,” said Rick Blum, director of the Sunshine in Government Initiative, a coalition of media associations that has strongly supported efforts [More]
PRESS RELEASE Media coalition applauds House approval of FOIA reforms: House unanimous vote sends FOIA reforms to President’s desk ahead of FOIA’s 50th anniversary on July 4 The media associations in the Sunshine in Government Initiative applaud today’s House vote to approve the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 (S. 337). After years of work on this bipartisan, bicameral set of reforms to the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), members [More]
FOIA Improvement Bill Scheduled for House Vote Today House vote today could send FOIA reforms to president’s desk before FOIA’s 50th anniversary on July 4 [Media Advisory [pdf]] The U.S. House is scheduled to vote today on S. 337 (pdf), the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016. If approved, bipartisan reforms to the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) would go to the President’s desk for signature just days before transparency advocates celebrate the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the original FOIA into law on July 4, 1966. The FOIA reforms the House will vote on are a high-water [More]
The good people at the Center for Investigative Reporting announced their new radio show Reveal in a big way: with their take on Adele’s Hello. It’s a few months old, but it’s so good we had to share. We hope a tribute to Prince is in the works. (“Can you respond to my request from 1999?”) And check out their great FOIA tips.
H.R. 4909 (2017 defense spending) The 2017 defense authorization spending bill includes a provision exempting military “tactics, techniques and procedures” from disclosure.