Thursday, September 21, 2006
Judiciary OKs OPEN Government Act
The Sunshine in Government Initiative is reporting that the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the OPEN Government Act (S. 394) this morning. The bipartisan bill sponsored by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) would bring significant reform to the federal Freedom of Information Act. The bill is backed by a broad array of media organizations. The bill would set new deadlines for FOIA responses, require agencies to create FOIA hotlines and tracking systems, create an independent neutral to help resolve FOIA disputes, makes it easier for requesters to recover attorneys' fees if litigation is necessary, and penalizes agencies for delaying responses.