U.S. Justice Department Launches New FOIA.gov Site

the U.S. Justice Department has launched a new FOIA.gov site, redesigning the online portal through which citizens can request information under the Freedom of Information Act.

Transparency groups have praised the redesign, which was mandated by Congress in 2016, describing it as a significant improvement over the previous FOIA.gov. The Sunlight Foundation, an open data advocacy group, noted that while the new version of the site won’t fix all of the nation’s transparency law issues, it is a “modern, responsive website based upon open standards and open source frameworks.”

Sunlight also notes that the new site was built by 18F, a federal tech consultancy housed within the General Services Administration, with funding from the Department of Justice’s Office of Information Policy. Transparency groups are likely to most appreciate the developer resources available through the new FOIA.gov, including an API.

This redesign was mandated by the FOIA Improvement Act, which directed the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Justice Department to “build a consolidated online request portal that allows a member of the public to submit a request for records under subsection (a) to any agency from a single website.” Read more…