Magazine article Information Management

Senate Passes Faster FOIA Act

Magazine article Information Management

Senate Passes Faster FOIA Act

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The U.S. Senate has voted unanimously to pass an amendment to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) meant to speed up responses to public information requests and investigate delays.

In a rare bipartisan effort, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) partnered to author the bill, which would create an advisory panel to examine agency backlogs in processing FOIA requests and recommend solutions to expedite future requests.

The panel, named the Commission on Freedom of Information Act Processing Delays, will be required to provide recommendations to Congress for legislative and administrative action to enhance agency responses to FOIA requests. It will also examine whether the system for charging fees and granting fee waivers under FOIA should be reformed to reduce delays in processing fee requests.

"Senator Cornyn and I believe that agency delays in processing FOIA requests are simply unacceptable, and that is why we introduced this bill," Leahy said in a release. …

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