Freedom of Information Act reform is dead for this Congressional session. As House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) closed the last meeting of the 113th Congress, the FOIA bill was nowhere to be found despite pleas from both sides of the aisle. The Senate last week passed updated bipartisan FOIA legislation and urged House lawmakers to pass the bill before the current session ends.
The National Archives and Records Administration is reconsidering its initial approval of a Central Intelligence Agency proposal to destroy email records of all but 22 senior agency officials, according to a Nov. 26 Secrecy News blog post.
An audit of the federal government's open data efforts has produced conflicting results. Where there should be URLs that link to downloadable datasets, agencies sometimes have a short message or an identifier for a non-web resource, such as people's computers and internal servers, the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit dedicate to government transparency, said in an Oct. 29 blog post.
A subcommittee of the Freedom of Information Act Advisory Committee is undertaking a massive information gathering project to survey the current state of FOIA oversight, and review what problems have been identified and corrective actions taken over the past 10 years.
U.S. and Chinese government offices will now directly exchange patent application priority documents through a secure, free electronic service designed to speed up processes and lower costs.
The Office of Management and Budget and the National Archives and Records Administration set two new dates for agencies to get their electronic records in order. OMB issued guidance (pdf) 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.
While the Defense Department has improved its real estate inventory data, it still lacks complete and accurate information in how some of those assets are being used, preventing officials from identifying opportunities to consolidate unused of underused facilities, congressional investigators said.
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.