Home > DocuBase > Article

« All DocuBase Articles

 

Friday, 6th March 2015

Freedom of Information Act Legislation in the 114th Congress: Issue Summary and Side-by-Side Analysis

Source: Congressional Research Service via Federation of American Scientists

From Summary:

Both the House and Senate are currently considering legislation that would make substantive changes to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). FOIA was originally enacted in 1966 and has been amended numerous times since—most recently in 2009. FOIA provides the public with a presumptive right to access agency records, limited by nine exemptions that allow agencies to withhold certain types or categories of records.

The legislation under consideration in the 114th Congress, S. 337 and H.R. 653, is largely based on bills from the 113th Congress, S. 2520 and H.R. 1211. Both of the bills in the current Congress seek to amend a number of provisions of FOIA for the purpose of increasing public access— including improving electronic accessibility of agency records, clarifying the right to request information related to intra- and inter-agency memoranda or letters, standardizing the use of search and duplication fees by agencies, and requiring agencies to notify requestors of dispute resolution processes for requests that have been denied. Both bills would also create a Chief FOIA Officers Council, responsible for informing government-wide FOIA administrators of best practices, and would establish new FOIA-related oversight responsibilities and reporting requirements.

In addition, both the House and Senate legislation would establish a statutory “presumption of openness,” whereby information may only be withheld if it harms an interest protected by a statutory exemption or if disclosure is prohibited by law. This presumption of openness would codify the principles outlined in the current Administration’s guidance on FOIA.

+ Direct link to document (PDF; 296 KB)


Category:

Source:


Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »



Please note: DocuTicker's editors collect citations for full-text PDF reports freely available on the web but we do not archive these reports. When you click a link to find and/or download the report, you are leaving the DocuTicker site. DocuTicker makes no representations regarding the ongoing availability of any report or any external resource. Links were accurate as of the date of posting.

« All DocuBase Articles







 

 
 
 

Article Categories

All Article Categories »

Sources

All DocuBase Sources »

Source Categories

All Source Categories »

Archive

All Archives »