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FOIA News: Sunlight Foundation on improving FOIA.gov

FOIA News (2015-16)Kevin SchmidtComment

Connecting freedom of information to open data: How to build a better FOIA.gov

By Alex Howard, Sunlight Foundation, Nov. 2, 2016

In January 2017, the next White House will have an extraordinary opportunity to close the gap between open government data and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) when it deploys a new portal, as mandated by the reforms that became law this summer.

After Sunlight shared our vision for open government at the White House Open Data Summit in September, officials at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) delegated with implementing FOIA reforms contacted us for more information about how that new portal should work. Here's what we told them: Over the next year, the White House should move aggressively to ensure that all FOIA responses be published as open data on Data.gov — not in separate databases — under a “release to one, release to all” policy.

Over the past year, we've explored different ways that FOIA could work better without more legislative action in Congress. Here's a specific breakdown how to use the reformed law to fix FOIA, from how the remade statute can be leveraged to drive positive change to an affirmative vision for a new FOIA.gov.

Read more here.