The Justice Department is using metadata in its effort to improve public access to government documents through the Freedom of Information Act. Using metadata to tag information will allow citizens to easily look up FOIA documents with a simple keyword search, either directly through a government site such as FOIA.gov, or through an Internet browser, says the DOJ.
Metadata is information about information in a machine-readable format. It allows computers to more easily find and categorize a document or image during a search and it makes it easier to find information residing on different government databases. The DOJ is using this approach to support its Open Government Plan, and is working on a set of standards to manage and support metadata tagging.
Please also see a previous post, FOIA document metadata foundation for government-wide FOIA library.