Faster FOIA Bill Passed in Senate Again

08.02.11 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The Faster FOIA Act, a modest bit of legislation to establish a commission “to examine the root causes of FOIA delays,” was introduced and passed in the Senate yesterday.

It was previously passed in May, but the resulting bill was amended by the House in order to serve as a vehicle for its debt ceiling maneuver, stripping out the FOIA-related content.  To reactivate the original Faster FOIA Act bill, it needed to be reintroduced. The new bill, S. 1466, passed on a voice vote on August 1, and will move once again to the house.

The Department of Defense has updated its Freedom of Information Act directive (pdf).  In mostly new language added last week, the directive said “It is DoD policy to promote transparency and accountability by adopting a presumption in favor of disclosure in all decisions involving the FOIA; responding promptly to requests in a spirit of cooperation; and by taking affirmative steps to make the maximum amount of information available to the public, consistent with the DoD responsibility to protect national security and other sensitive DoD information.”

Also new is a report from the Congressional Research Service on “Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background and Policy Options for the 112th Congress” (pdf), July 26, 2011.

Update: See, relatedly, Senate Passes Faster FOIA Bill Again Amid Growing Criticism by Channing Turner, MainJustice.com, August 2.