For the Freedom of Information Act to truly make an impact, there must be continual encouragement from both the public and inside government. The Senate Judiciary Committee is slated to vote on a bill that will update the FOIA on sometime this week. This bill would require federal agencies to adopt a “preemption of openness” in their decisions to release documents. The bill would also limit agencies’ authority to charge fees if the agency misses a FOIA compliant deadline.
As the 113th Congress draws to a close at the end of the calendar year, there is hope for a new batch of FOIA reform legislation. Congress has already acted on improving FOIA, sending a bill to the President for signature that would help speed up release of White House Records.