Key Senators Back A Stronger, More Digital FOIA

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The chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee expressed interest in a House-passed bill to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act, including by mandating a single online portal for all government FOIA requests.

Judiciary committee staff members are reviewing the bill that the House passed unanimously in February, said Sen Chuck Grassley (R-IA). Sen Grassley and Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) both expressed optimism the committee would take up the bill during a hearing focused on “Reinvigorating FOIA for the Digital Age.”

The FOIA Oversight and Implementation Act would also require that the Office of Government Information Services, which was established in 2007 as something of a FOIA ombudsman, report directly to Congress rather than passing its reports and recommendations through the White House’s Office of Management and Budget first.

[March 11]

Key Senators Back A Stronger, More Digital FOIA