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New GAO Report on FOIA

The GAO released a report today on FOIA entitled “Processing Trends Show Importance of Improvement Plans.” [PDF] From the “Highlights” page:

The improvement plans submitted by the 25 agencies mostly included goals and timetables addressing the four areas of improvement emphasized by the Executive Order: eliminating or reducing any backlog of FOIA requests; increasing reliance on dissemination of records that can be made available to the public without the need for a FOIA request, such as through posting on Web sites; improving communications with requesters about the status of their requests; and increasing public awareness of FOIA processing. Most of the plans (20 of 25) provided goals and timetables in all four areas; some agencies omitted goals in areas where they considered they were already strong. Although details of a few plans could be improved, all the plans focus on making measurable improvements and form a reasonable basis for carrying out the goals of the Executive Order.

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