Category: Congress

FOIA@50: Hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee (July 12, 2016)

SGI Director Rick Blum testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 12, 2016

SGI Director Rick Blum testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 12, 2016

A panel of witnesses told the Senate Judiciary Committee that technology and better records management were keys to improving the Freedom of Information Act. SGI Director Rick Blum pointed to several stories relying in part on FOIA that helped change government action or otherwise make an impact in communities. The hearing was a chance to celebrate enactment of the Freedom of Information Act Improvement, signed into law on June 30, 2016. Also testifying from the media perspective was Professor Dave Cullier on behalf of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Blum told the Committee that the government should better manage its records.

Amazon does not store goods piled in boxes in its warehouses. It catalogs the row and shelf location for each item so retrieval is efficient enough to have a box on my doorstep in two days. Digital storage and retrieval should speed government responses, not complicate and slow it down.

Read the rest of SGI’s testimony here.

MEDIA ADVISORY: House to vote today on FOIA reforms

FOIA Improvement Bill Scheduled for House Vote Today House vote today could send FOIA reforms to president’s desk before FOIA’s 50th anniversary on July 4 [Media Advisory [pdf]] The U.S. House is scheduled to vote today on S. 337 (pdf),…

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H.R. 4909 (2017 defense spending)

The 2017 defense authorization spending bill includes a provision exempting military “tactics, techniques and procedures” from disclosure.

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H.R. 4922

Applies the requirements of the federal FOIA to the National Security Council.

SGI STATEMENT: Senate approves FOIA reform (S. 337)

Media coalition applauds Senate approval of FOIA reforms, calls on House and Senate to work out differences  [PDF version] The media coalition The Sunshine in Government Initiative (SGI) today applauds the approval by unanimous consent of the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016.

Release: SGI applauds House FOIA vote

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MEDIA COALITION APPLAUDS HOUSE VOTE ON FOIA REFORMS The Sunshine in Government Initiative, a media coalition which has worked to increase government transparency for over ten years, applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for approving…