The Justice Department launched a new pilot program to be tested at seven agencies that would open up Freedom of Information Act responses to everyone, not just the requester.
The Professional Services Council on Tuesday came out in support of a new National Archives and Records Administration rule that lays out how agencies should deal with unclassified information that still has some restrictions placed on it.
With the launch of the openFOIA website last month, the National Archives and Records Administration has laid out what information requesters and Freedom of Information Act office workers can get from the three main FOIA-related federal websites.
The guidance is designed to ensure that sensitive federal data stay confidential when processed, transmitted and stored by contractors, state governments, research and academic institutions and other nonfederal organizations.
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.
Permanent records, regardless of format, should be transferred into the National Archives and Records Administration's custody only when business use has ceased and the passage of time has lessened the sensitivity of the records, says a June 17 NARA bulletin.
The NARA bulletin applies to chat or instant messaging, texting, voicemail messages that can be attached to emails, and other communications platforms such as social media or mobile apps.
A program spearheaded by the National Archives and Records Administration to help digitize the federal record keeping process left out any provisions about metadata, according to the Government Accountability Office.
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.
The National Archives and Records Administration is soliciting comments on the implementation of a program to get agencies' email records in order. Back in October 2014, OMB issued guidance that supports a 2012 directive requiring agencies to manage permanent and temporary email records electronically by the end of 2016 and manage all permanent electronic records in an electronic format by the end of 2019, the recent solicitation for comments says.