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House bill to bolster FOI Act introduced

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    News Media Update         WASHINGTON, D.C.         Freedom of Information         Feb. 17, 2005    

House bill to bolster FOI Act introduced

  • A House bill, like its Senate counterpart, would strengthen the Freedom of Information Act by making it easier to use.

Feb. 17, 2005 — Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) has introduced the House version of a Senate bill that aims to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act by revamping it for the first time since the 1996 Electronic FOI Act.

The bill, introduced in the Senate by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), would reform the FOI Act by tracking FOI Act requests, creating an ombudsman’s office to settle disputes between government agencies and FOI requesters, and making government-owned information held by contractors subject to release.

“Taxpayers should have the opportunity to obtain information quickly and easily,” Smith said on his Web site.”This legislation will greatly improve the public’s right to know what the government is doing in their name.”

(H.R.867, S.394; Openness Promotes Effectiveness in our National Government Act of 2005)AB


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