March 16, 2007 | By Marcia Hofmann

FOIA Reforms Plow Forward in Congress

The House of Representatives has passed a bill that will make much-needed updates to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and strengthen the public's right to get records from the federal government. H.R. 1309, the Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 2007, was approved yesterday by a considerable 308-117 margin. But the White House lashed out against the legislation, calling FOIA improvements "premature and counterproductive" in light of an 2005 presidential order requiring agencies to streamline their FOIA processes.

Just this week the National Security Archive released a report showing how necessary FOIA improvements are. The non-profit research group found that most federal agencies have failed to improve online access to public information in spite of a decade-old FOIA change requiring that they do so.

In related news, a bipartisan bill similar to H.R. 1309 was introduced earlier this week in the Senate. Like the House bill, S. 849, the Openness Promotes Effectiveness in our National Government Act of 2007, will improve the public's right to access government information through the FOIA and penalize agencies that don't comply with the law.

Learn more about the FOIA and EFF's Flag Project here.


Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

Illinois drone task force would have 22 members, mostly cops and industry reps, but not a single privacy advocate https://eff.org/r.6isf

Jun 29 @ 3:53pm

The Supreme Court's refusal to hear the API copyright case Oracle v. Google could be bad news for interoperability https://eff.org/r.68fa

Jun 29 @ 2:33pm

Do you want to fight for the user? EFF has a position open on our activism team: https://eff.org/r.6u3s

Jun 29 @ 1:56pm
JavaScript license information