House Passes Bipartisan FOIA Improvement Bill

March 5, 2014

Don't polish your glasses — you read it right. Bipartisan. By a vote of 410-0, the House on February 25, 2014, passed a bill (HR 1211) making several modest improvements in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Analysts said the bill would strengthen the presumption in favor of disclosure of government records. It would also authorize a central tracking system for FOIA requests and strengthen the role of the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS, the so-called "FOIA ombudsman").

The bill was sponsored jointly by Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), chair and ranking member, respectively, on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.