All in the name of transparency, this bill requires the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) to update its regulations around the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests are a commonly used tool by concerned citizens and journalists seeking to acquire greater insight into the operations of the government in a particular area.
Under this bill, DHS would also have to identify the costs of complying with FOIA requests, find ways to more efficiently follow FOIA's provisions, and work to reduce the backlog of information requests.
New regulations for implementing FOIA requests would include:
Guidance for the public on the procedures for filing FOIA requests for DHS rules, opinions, orders, records, or proceedings;
Updated guidance for the branches of DHS that have to process FOIA requests;
Detailed information on fees and costs associated with, and the appeals process for, FOIA requests.
The Chief FOIA Officer would also, under this bill, have to:
Identify how much it costs every year for DHS to implement FOIA;
Develop reporting standards for detailing the cost of processing requests;
Identify and eliminate unnecessary and duplicative actions taken by DHS when processing FOIA requests;
Create a plan for automating FOIA request processing.