The newly created expanded Freedom of Information Act advisory committee set oversight of the FOIA process, increased proactive disclosure and eliminating fees as their top priorities at a June 24 meeting. The committee is comprised of government members and 10 non-governmental members with FOIA expertise. The group was created through the second Open Government National Action Plan with and charged studying FOIA across the government and advising on ways to improve FOIA.
The National Archives and Records Administration will create a committee to improve the way the government process Freedom of Information Act request, a May 5 Federal Register notice says. "NARA has determined that the creation of the FOIA Advisory Committee is in the public interest due to the expertise and valuable advice the Committee members will provide on issues related to improving the administration of FOIA," the notice says.
The White House office charged with reviewing draft federal regulations has made it easier to search and sort records of its meetings with lobbyists and trade associations.
More than half of federal agencies still operate under obsolete Freedom of Information Act guidlines, having not updated their procedures to comply with an Obama administration directive to proactively make information available, a March 14 National Security Archive at George Washington University report says.
The federal office that serves as the Freedom of Information Act ombudsman is aiming to embed FOIA personnel into information technology procurement and development. The idea would be to ensure in advance that agencies can efficiently search for electronic records in new repositories.
The Government Printing Office has been clear that it wants to overhaul its image into a modern, digital agency, and newly-introduced legislation is proposing to help it do just that, starting with its name.
The National Archives and Records Administration doesn't know where all agencies store their physical records, the Government Accountability Office says. NARA has tried to gather that information, but not all agencies submitted it. The data that NARA has received is mostly from 2008 and 2009 and is now outdated, the GAO says in a report (.pdf) released Sept. 10.
Nearly 80 percent of a 357 million page backlog of classified records has gone through the National Declassification Center's quality assurance review stage, the center announced Aug. 8 in its biannual report. During the quality assurance stage, the NDC works to ensure that still-sensitive information remains classified and that records appropriate for release are declassified.
The nomination of Davita Vance-Cooks to the position of Public Printer will be considered before the full Senate thanks to a unanimous July 24 vote by the Senate Rules and Administration Committee.
The federal government has 64 percent fewer in-house printing plants today than it did in 1990, finds a July 17 Government Accountability Office report (.pdf). The most significant decline comes from the Defense Department, which reported 142 printing plants in 1990 and is now down to 17 managed by the Defense Logistics Agency.