FOIA Reform Bill Advances

The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved S-337 to compel agencies to respond more quickly and openly to Freedom of Information Act requests.

The bill would establish a single website for making FOIA requests; direct agencies to make records available in an electronic format; reduce the number of exemptions agencies can use to withhold information from the public; clarify procedures for handling frequently requested documents and charging fees; establish a Chief FOIA Officers Council; and require agencies to prepare additional reports for the Congress on FOIA matters.

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Primary Sources: How a New FOIA Bill Could Force More Government Transparency

The Senate Judiciary Committee released an amended version of a bill that would overhaul the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and force government agencies to be more transparent.

The legislation, which has bipartisan support and is backed by open government advocates, is co-sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy and Senator John Cornyn, the ranking Republican on the committee.

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