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President Signs Order Aimed at Improving FOIA Operation

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  1. Freedom of Information
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President Bush signed an executive order the White House said is intended to improve the operation of the Freedom of Information Act and help the public in getting requested information from the government. The order creates a chief FOIA officer in each agency at the assistant secretary level, calls for creation of a FOIA service center in each agency, and directs that the agencies each submit a formal plan for improving FOIA operations within six months. Among the procedural changes, it calls for improved tracking of requests. The order provides no indication, however, of any change in the administration’s policy of a more legalistic approach to discretionary release of requested information that was set out in the controversial memorandum by his first attorney general, John Ashcroft. (12/14/05)

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