This bill would make a number of reforms to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that would require federal agencies to provide easier access to information requested by the public. Federal agencies would be required to make disclosable records and documents available to the public in an electronic format if they’re requested three or more times.
Federal agencies would be prohibited from charging a fee for providing records if they miss a deadline for compliance unless there’s unusual circumstances or the record request is for more than 5,000 pages. Information requested under FOIA would have to be provided unless there’s a specific exemption covering that information, or if a disclosure would be illegal.
The program for the efficient management of federal agency records would be expanded to require agency heads to establish procedures for:
Identifying records of general interest or use to the public that are appropriate for disclosure;
Posting such records in a publicly-accessible electronic format.
The head of each U.S. government agency would be required to:
Review existing agency regulations and procedures for disclosing records;
Include procedures for dispute resolutions through the FOIA Public Liaison and Office of Government Information Systems.
No new funding would be authorized by this legislation, which would go into effect immediately upon its enactment and would apply to all FOIA requests made after that date.