The Obama Administration has released a preview of the Open Government National Action Plan, which sets out commitments to improve the public’s access to information and improve government information management. The report covers a wide range of topics, including efforts to improve public participation in government, proposals to modernize management of government records and update the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), as well as plans to transform the security classification system, increase transparency of foreign intelligence surveillance activities, make privacy compliance information more accessible, and strengthen protections for whistleblowers. Regarding the FOIA, the Administration proposes to establish a FOIA modernization committee, improve training for government employees, and develop a unified online FOIA system. If adopted, the proposed commitments would clarify the records requesting process and make the FOIA more accessible to the public. EPIC joined other open government organizations to advise the Administration on modernizing the FOIA. EPIC also regularly comments on proposed changes to agency FOIA regulations. For more information, see EPIC: Open Government.
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by Ryan Calo, A. Michael Froomkin,