FOIA Ombudsman Recommends Changes to Use of "Still Interested" Letters

The FOIA ombudsman has issued the third part of a report on the use of "still interested" letters (part 1part 2). Such letters are used by federal agencies to prematurely terminate FOIA requests. In 2014, an EPIC-led coalition urged the Office of Government Information Services to investigate the pervasive use of such letters. Today’s report recognizes that this agency practice is "not addressed in the FOIA statute or in agency regulations,” and that reporting on the practice is inconsistent. The FOIA ombudsman  urged agencies to provide additional guidance on the use of such letters, and to document the practice in annual reporting. Congress recently passed legislation to strengthen the FOIA, which the President is expected to sign.

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