By Tyler Arnold, Opinion Contributor, The Hill, Dec. 4, 2017
The Trump administration recently announced its plan to accelerate the processing of a 13,000 records-request backlog that has piled up over the past decade at the U.S. State Department. This is a good start, but the president has an even greater opportunity to show his administration’s commitment to transparency: finalizing the “Release to One, Release to all” rule for the Freedom of Information Act.
The Freedom of Information Act, or “FOIA,” signed into law a half century ago, permits Americans to petition any federal agency for records. The purpose of the FOIA was to help hold those agencies accountable by allowing the public to know what their government was up to. The Release to One, Release to All policy, initially proposed under the Obama administration, would expand access to information by making records produced in response to individual FOIA requests publicly available to everyone through agency websites.
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