The Sunshine in Government Initiative strongly supports bipartisan legislation, S. 2520, to improve the way agencies process FOIA requests. Below is a letter SGI sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee supporting the bill.
November 20, 2014
Senator Patrick Leahy Chairman Senate Judiciary Committee Dirksen Senate Office Building 224 Washington, DC 20510 Senator Charles Grassley Ranking Member Senate Judiciary Committee Dirksen Senate Office Building 152 Washington, DC 20510
Dear Chairman Leahy and Ranking Member Grassley,
The Sunshine in Government Initiative (SGI) strongly supports the FOIA Improvement Act of 2014 (S. 2520) and encourages the Senate Judiciary Committee to approve this bipartisan, commonsense legislation so it can be considered by the full Senate.
SGI is a coalition of media associations including the American Society of News Editors, The Associated Press, Association of Alternative Newsmedia, National Newspaper Association, Newspaper Association of America, Online News Association, Radio-Television Digital News Association, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and Society of Professional Journalists.
The FOIA Improvement Act strengthens government transparency by limiting the ability of agencies to hide decades old documents from the public, clarifying that Congress intends the Office of Government Information Services to speak with an independent, assertive voice in settling disputes arising under FOIA, and ensuring agencies use modern technology and start from the presumption of openness when receiving and responding to requests from the public.
We appreciate you commitment to working in a bipartisan manner to identify concrete ways to make the federal government more open and to help ensure federal agencies meet their commitments that Congress set out under FOIA.
We particularly want to express our appreciation to you, Chairman Leahy, Ranking Member Grassley, and Senator John Cornyn for your dedication to a more transparent government and for the hard work of your staff on this legislation.
Director, Sunshine in Government Initiative