The U.S. National Action Plan for the global Open Government Partnership is big news for FOIA. We’ve written about the plan’s five-part commitment for strengthening and modernizing the Freedom of Information Act.
One of the five components of the FOIA commitment calls for a new FOIA advisory committee:
Establish a FOIA Modernization Advisory Committee. Improvements to FOIA administration must take into account the views and interests of both requesters and the Government. The United States will establish a formal FOIA Advisory Committee, comprised of government and non-governmental members of the FOIA community, to foster dialogue between the Administration and the requester community, solicit public comments, and develop consensus recommendations for improving FOIA administration and proactive disclosures.
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will be the home for this new Federal Advisory Committee, which will be administered by OGIS. NARA is working with the General Services Administration (the lead agency for the Federal Advisory Committee Act) to get the committee up and running quickly. We expect that there will be 20 members, half of them from government agencies and half from the FOIA requester community. The committee aims to meet in Washington four times a year for at least the next two years.
We are looking for people who are passionate about FOIA and are willing to devote time and energy to this effort. If you are interested in putting forward your name (or someone else’s), please let us know as soon as you can. We hope that you will consider getting involved in this effort to improve FOIA!