House Oversight committee approves FOIA and GAO reform bills

From Fierce Government:

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved bills March 20 that would grant the Government Accountability Office more power and make popular Freedom of Information Act requests more available to the public.

Among the changes the GAO bill (H.R. 1162), sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), would institute are:

  • The ability to litigate to compel access to federal agency information;
  • the right to make and retain copies of agency records;
  • the ability to administer oaths to witnesses when conducting audits and certain types of investigations;
  • the authority to access certain categories of records.