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Introducing FOIA Post

With this posting on its FOIA Web site, the Department of Justice's Office of Information and Privacy introduces FOIA Post, a new means of disseminating Freedom of Information Act-related information to federal agencies governmentwide.

FOIA Post replaces the Department of Justice's FOIA Update newsletter publication, which was published from 1979 to 2000. All issues of FOIA Update for that twenty-year period have now been placed on the Department of Justice's FOIA Web site, where they are available electronically -- and are "keyword searchable" -- for ready reference purposes.

As of 2001, FOIA Post will serve as a primary means of FOIA policy dissemination and as an efficient vehicle for communicating FOIA-related information to agency FOIA personnel and others who are interested in the Act's administration. It is planned to include the same types of FOIA guidance and information features that were disseminated in paper form through FOIA Update, but in a more efficient electronic form that also can make effective use of electronic "links" to referenced documents and other sources of information in a Web-based format.

A major enhancement in FOIA Post will be its inclusion of all new FOIA decisions that are received by the Office of Information and Privacy. OIP will disseminate summary descriptions of all newly decided FOIA cases, through FOIA Post, on no less than a quarterly basis. In time, OIP plans to post quarterly compilations of such case summaries for FOIA decisions that have been handed down in recent years as well.

This natural evolution to Web-based governmentwide information dissemination for the Freedom of Information Act not only takes advantage of the cost-efficiencies of electronic communication, it also is very much in keeping with the Act's growing emphasis on the disclosure of agency information to the public electronically, through use of the Internet and the World Wide Web, under the provisions of the Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 1996. Just as individual agency FOIA Web sites have become a vital means by which the FOIA is administered at all federal agencies, agencies can now look to the Department of Justice's FOIA Web site for the most recent postings of information regarding matters of governmentwide FOIA administration.

The Department of Justice suggests that this part of its FOIA Web site be electronically "bookmarked" by all agency FOIA personnel and others interested in the Act for this purpose.

Questions about FOIA Post can be directed to editor Pamela Maida, of the Office of Information and Privacy, at (202) 514-5105. Ms. Maida also is the primary contact for OIP's compilation of new FOIA decisions, which can be faxed to her attention at (202) 514-1009.   (posted 3/14/01)

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