Agencies have come under fire for not being proactive about handing over documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act. So as part of FOIA modernization efforts, the National Archives and Records Administration is reaching out to the public to find out what they see as faults in the process.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz chastised agency officials over what he sees as a lack of openness when processing Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, requests in a June 3 hearing.
Officials at several agencies told a Senate panel that Freedom of Information Act requests have become unmanageable because of a dramatic increase in the number of requests over the last few years.
The number of Freedom of Information Act requests that weren't fulfilled by federal agencies spiked by 70 percent in fiscal 2014 compared to the previous year. That's more than double the increase the government saw between fiscal 2012 and fiscal 2013, says the Justice Department's annual FOIA report.
A new report from an open government advocacy group shows that agency responses to the same, basic Freedom of Information Act requests varied widely. About 65 business days after FOIA requests were sent to 21 agencies asking them to detail their FOIA processing practices, only seven have furnished complete and usable records in response.
The House Oversight Committee Wednesday approved a bill that would require agencies presume information requested by the public be open unless proven otherwise. The measure, which was passed out of committee by voice vote would make it easier for the public to request and receive government information, lawmakers say.
The Rosemary Award, established in 2005 by the National Security Archive – a Washington, D.C.-based independent watchdog group located at George Washington University – is intended to "highlight the lowlights of government secrecy."
At issue is the Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques, which uses behavior detection officers to detect passenger behaviors that may be indicative of stress, fear or deception.
The Justice Department rolled out new education courses aimed at training the federal workforce on how to properly handle Freedom of Information Act requests, says a March 13 DOJ statement.
Agencies are struggling to properly implement the Freedom of Information Act and release information to the public when it's requested, says a March 10 report from the Center for Effective Government.