Release: SGI applauds House panel vote to advance FOIA reform

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Click here for PDF version: SGI Release HOGR Vote on FOIA reform Final

Media Coalition applauds House Oversight vote to approve FOIA reform

 The Sunshine in Government Initiative, a media coalition promoting commonsense steps to make government more open, today applauds the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform for its vote to approve the FOIA Oversight and Implementation Act of 2015 (H.R. 653).

Last week an Associated Press analysis for Sunshine Week showed that FOIA needs to be improved. Important steps to strengthen FOIA in H.R. 653 (as introduced) include: an independent voice for reform within government, an infusion of modern technology and end-to-end electronic handling of requests to ease the process for agencies and requesters, and a law that clearly directs agencies to use the foreseeable harm standard that has been governmentwide policy since 2009.

Members of the Sunshine in Government Initiative include: American Society of News Editors, The Associated Press, Association of Alternative Newsmedia, National Association of Broadcasters, National Newspaper Association, Newspaper Association of America, Online News Association, Radio Television Digital News Association, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and Society of Professional Journalists.

Today the Sunshine in Government Initiative sent a letter supporting H.R. 653 to Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Ut.) and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.). We appreciate Chairman Chaffetz’s commitment to make FOIA work better by scheduling this bipartisan bill up for a vote today. We also appreciate Government Operations Subcommittee Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Ranking Member Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) for holding a substantive hearing focused on the FOIA reform legislation on February 27, 2015. We especially want to thank the bill’s original sponsors, Representatives Darrell Issa (R-Ca.), Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), and Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) as well as the 18 co-sponsors of this bipartisan legislation.

SGI’s letter and more on H.R. 653 can be found at sunshineingovernment.org.

 March 25, 2015

Contact:

rblum@sunshineingovernment.org
202-795-9305 direct
202-309-2654 cell
Twitter: @sunshineingov

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