Have you seen improvements in FOIA?

The big question at Thursday’s hearing before the U.S. House Information Policy, Census, and National Archives Subcommittee was whether we’ve seen any improvements in FOIA since President Obama took office (see written testimony of the 10 panelists and the Webcast).

If you listen to the first panel, composed of a FOIA officer from EPA, the federal ombudsman, director of the Office of Information Policy, and other government folk, you will hear that backlogs have been vastly reduced.

If you listen to the second panel, including requesters from Judicial Watch, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Citizen, Sarah Cohen and myself, you will hear that nothing much has changed (Judicial Watch said it’s gotten worse, Public Citizen said parts might have improved, and the rest of us said we haven’t noticed a difference).

What about you? Have you seen FOIA work better during the past year, or worse? Or business as usual? For a related story about how Obama’s efforts have just scratched the surface, see the latest issue of The News Media and the Law.


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