The celebration of Sunshine Week during March 2010 this year included the holding of a Congressional Hearing on FOIA trends. The House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives held a hearing March 18, 2010, entitled: Administration of the Freedom of Information Act: Current Trends.
There were two panels of witnesses, one with representatives from the federal government, and the second with representatives from the private sector interested in open government. The Subcommittee first heard testimony from the Department of Justice, then from the National Archives and Records Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Government Accountability Office. On the second panel, the Subcommittee heard from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a Knight Professor of Journalism from Duke University, the Freedom of Information Clearinghouse, an Assistant Professor from the University of Arizona School of Journalism, and from Judicial Watch.
The Director of the Office of Information Policy at the Department of Justice testified on the steps taken by the Department of Justice to implement the President’s Memorandum on the FOIA and the Attorney General’s FOIA Guidelines. In response to questions raised during the hearing, she testified that while much work remained to be done, real progress has been achieved by agencies in improving the administration of the FOIA. Her testimony is available at [http://www.justice.gov/oip/melanie-testimony.pdf].
Statements from all of the witnesses are available on the Subcommittee’s website at: http://oversight.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4845&Itemid=29. (posted 04/02/2010)
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