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Three out of Five Federal Agencies Flout New FOIA Law

The National Security Archive at George Washington University reports that only 38 of 99 federal government agencies have updated their FOIA Regulations as required by law.

The FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 (Public Law 114-185) (PDF) set new requirements for agencies including providing requesters with no less than 90 days to file an appeal and prohibiting agencies from charging search or duplication fees under certain conditions. The law requires that agencies update their FOIA regulations to meet these new requirements by December 27, 2016.

Among the agencies that have not updated their regulations are the departments of State, Commerce, Treasury, Agriculture, Veterans Affairs, and Education.

The Audit reports that:

Because 61 agencies have not updated their FOIA regulations, many requesters may still be charged improper FOIA fees if an agency misses a deadline, could be unaware of the mediation services available to them, and are being robbed of their rightful appeals deadlines.

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