A bill cosponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) to improve the Freedom of Information Act has passed unanimously out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill will strengthen the Office of Government Information Services, and will require new reporting on the use of exemptions and audits of agency FOIA processes. The FOIA Improvement Act codifies the presumption of openness and requires that agencies must demonstrate a foreseeable harm in order to withhold information. It will also close a loophole that allows agencies to still charge fees to requesters no matter how long the agency delays processing a request. The House of Representatives has already passed similar legislation. For more information see: EPIC: Open Government and FOIA.ROCKS.
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