2/26/14 10:45 AM EST
H.R. 1211, the FOIA Oversight and Implementation Act of 2014 was co-sponsored by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), and puts into action an executive memorandum from President Barack Obama that calls on all agencies to have a “presumption of disclosure” to all FOIA decisions.
Perhaps most significantly for journalists, the bill would create a centralized online portal for FOIA requests under the Office of Management and Budget, and set up a group that will recommend future improvements to the FOIA process. Currently FOIA requests can be a complicated and complex process of going through different agencies and offices, who often take weeks or months to respond.
The bill would also require agencies to release information publicly once it is released to individual journalists.