A New U.S. House Oversight and Gov Reform Committee Staff Report Says FOIA is “Broken”
Key Findings From Report (via U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Website):
- The Executive Branch culture encourages an unlawful presumption in favor of secrecy when responding to FOIA requests.
- The administration is unaware that FOIA is systemically broken.
- Agencies create and follow FOIA policies that appear to be designed to deter requesters from pursuing requests and create barriers to accessing records.
- FOIA requesters have good reason to mistrust even fair and earnest attempts by agencies to fulfill requests. In the words of one requester, “something is desperately wrong with the process.”
- The Department of State had numerous open requests that are nearly a decade old, making them arguably the worst agency with respect to FOIA compliance.
Direct to Background and Summary
Direct to Full Text Report (46 pages; PDF) and Embedded Below
Legislation: Read and Track H.R. 653, the FOIA Act, in U.S. Congress (via GovTrack.us)
See Also: FOIA Reform Bill on Fast-Track for a Vote in the House (OpenTheGovernment.org)
UPDATE Jan 12, 2015: House Passes FOIA Reform, Again (Via Politico)
Filed under: News
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.