H.R.1309 - Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 2007
To promote openness in Government by strengthening section 552 of title 5, United States Code (commonly referred to as the Freedom of Information Act), and for other purposes. view all titles (3)
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- Short: Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 2007 as introduced.
- Short: Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 2007 as passed house.
- Official: To promote openness in Government by strengthening section 552 of title 5, United States Code (commonly referred to as the Freedom of Information Act), and for other purposes. as introduced.
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Official Summary3/14/2007--Passed House amended. Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 2007 - Amends the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to revise requirements for federal agency disclosures of information requested under that Act.(Sec. 3) Prohibits a federal agency, in setting document duplication f
Official Summary3/14/2007--Passed House amended. Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 2007 - Amends the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to revise requirements for federal agency disclosures of information requested under that Act.
(Sec. 3)Prohibits a federal agency, in setting document duplication fees, from denying news media status to a news media representative solely on the absence of institutional associations of the requester and requires consideration of the requester's prior publication history. Requires such agency, if a requester has no prior publication history or current affiliation, to consider the requester's stated intent at the time the request is made to distribute information to a reasonably broad audience.
(Sec. 4)Provides that, for purposes of awarding attorney fees and litigation costs, a FOIA complainant has substantially prevailed in a legal proceeding to compel disclosure if such complainant obtained relief through either:
(1) a judicial order, administrative action, or an enforceable written agreement or consent decree; or
(2) a voluntary or unilateral change in position by the opposing party in a case in which the complainant's claim or defense was not frivolous.
(Sec. 5)Directs the Attorney General to:
(1) notify the Special Counsel of civil actions taken for arbitrary and capricious rejections of requests for agency records; and
(2) submit annual reports to Congress on the number of such civil actions in the preceding year. Directs the Special Counsel to submit an annual report to Congress on investigations of agency rejections of FOIA requests.
(Sec. 6)Requires the 20-day period during which an agency must determine whether to comply with a FOIA request to begin on the date on which the request is first received by such agency. Prohibits the tolling of the 20-day period without the consent of the FOIA requester.
Requires an agency to refund fees for a FOIA request if the agency fails to comply with the 20-day period (applies to requests made one year after the enactment of this Act).
(Sec. 7)Requires agencies to establish:
(1) a system to assign an individualized tracking number for FOIA requests and provide requesters with such tracking number within 10 days after receiving a request; and
(2) a telephone line or Internet service that provides information on the status of a request. Makes this requirement effective one year after the enactment of this Act.
(Sec. 8)Requires any statutory exemption from disclosure under FOIA enacted after the date of enactment of this Act to cite directly to FOIA disclosure exemption provisions.
(Sec. 9)Revises annual agency reporting requirements on compliance with FOIA to require information on:
(1) compliance of each principal component of an agency and for the agency overall;
(2) FOIA denials based upon particular statutes; and
(3) agency response times.
Requires agencies to make the raw statistical data used in reports electronically available to the public upon request.
(Sec. 10)Redefines "record" under FOIA to include any information maintained by a contractor for a federal agency.
(Sec. 11)Establishes in the National Archives an Office of Government Information Services under the supervision and direction of a National Information Advocate. Requires such Office to:
(1) provide guidance to FOIA requesters; and
(2) review agency FOIA policies and procedures and recommend policy changes to Congress.
(Sec. 12)Requires the Comptroller General to report to Congress, not later than January 1 of each of the three years after the enactment of this Act, on the implementation and use of provisions for the protection of voluntarily shared critical infrastructure information under the Homeland Security Act of 2002. Requires such reports to be submitted in unclassified form, allowing a classified annex.
(Sec. 13)Requires the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to report to Congress on personnel policies related to FOIA.
(Sec. 14)Declares it to be the policy of the federal government to release information to the public in response to a FOIA request if the release is required by law or the release is allowed by law and the agency concerned does not reasonably foresee that disclosure would be harmful to an interest protected by an applicable exemption.
(Sec. 15)Requires agencies making partial FOIA disclosures to note the exemption or exemptions used to withhold information and to indicate the exemption used to delete information at the place in the record where the deletion is made.
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