Important D.C. Circuit FOIA ruling affirms agencies’ obligation to respond promptly

Submitted by LDieringer on Fri, 04/26/2013 - 11:59am

From The National Law Review:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has issued a significant decision holding that the common agency practice of providing open-ended initial responses to requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) violates statutory requirements for prompt agency “determinations” and that judicial review of incomplete responses may be available after the initial 20-business-day period for agency responses to FOIA requests.
 
The ruling should prompt agencies to provide more substantive and robust initial determinations and provide requesting parties with faster and more reliable access to federal courts to challenge an agency’s failure to respond or decision to withhold records.