FOI Advocate Blog

The NFOIC open government blog is a compendium of original concepts and analysis as well as ideas, edited excerpts and materials from a variety of sources. When the information comes from another source, we will attribute it and provide a link. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited; we will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

For Advocate posts prior to July, 2011, visit

January 20, 2014 1:11 AM

Responding to a Freedom of Information Act request, the IRS has released a series of documents, including training materials used by agents relating to how it recognizes and treats exempt organizations like nonprofits.

The FOIA request was made by Tax Analysts, a nonprofit organization that provides research and analysis of federal, state, and international taxes.

The organization made the request in May 2013 following the controversy regarding the determinations office's handling of exemption applications from conservative organizations. Tax Analysts brought suit against the IRS in August, seeking expedited processing of the request. The IRS released roughly 1,000 pages in September, followed by another 1,800 pages in November. A judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on January 7 ordered that the IRS produce the remaining documents responsive to the FOIA request by January 15. Continue>>>

January 20, 2012 11:14 AM

From Federal News Radio:

Under the Plain Language Act, federal agencies have already had to sharpen their public communications skills. New proposed legislation would take the spirit of that open government effort a step further.

Since last October, agencies have been required to take a new approach to the way they write publications and other materials that are intended for public consumption and write them in plain language. The congressman who originally sponsored the Plain Language Act now wants to expand the requirements into what he argues are the most confusing and complex federal documents of all: federal regulations.

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