US House Proposes Centralizing Freedom of Information Requests

February 27, 2014

New Yorkers advocating for an OpenFOIL law here in NYC , were happy to see Tuesday’s 410-0 vote in the U.S. House of Representatives in favor of H.R. 1211, the FOIA Oversight and Implementation Act (FOIA Act). Alex Howard writes:

If enacted, it would commit the reforms to the Freedom of Information Act that the Obama administration has proposed but go further, placing the burden on agencies to justify withholding information from requestors, codifying the creation of a pilot to enable requestors to submit requests in one place, creating a FOIA Council, and directing federal agencies to automatically publish records responsive to requests online.

The bills prospects in the Senate aren’t known, but the overwhelming support for the bill in congress lends momentum to efforts by the New York City Transparency Working Group to get the NYC City Council to pass  “Open FOIL.” That legislation proposes an all online FOIL process similar to the city of Oakland’s RecordTrac system, which Reinvent Albany recently profiled.

RecordTrac, perhaps the best centralized FOIL portal in the country.

Congress and advocates in NYC want a centralized, online, FOIL portal like Oakland’s.