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New CRS Report on FOIA

According to the Open CRS Network, the Congressional Research Service has published this helpful report on proposed changes to the Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA):

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Amendments: 110th Congress
February 01, 2007

The report reviews changes to FOIA that were proposed but not enacted in the 109th Congress in hopes of informing decision-making in the 110th.

Aside from this legislative review, the report also contains this summary of what Federal FOIA is about and the perceived balancing issues:

The statute has become a somewhat popular tool of inquiry and information gathering for various quarters of American society — the press, business, scholars, attorneys, consumers, and environmentalists, among others — as well as some foreign interests. The response to a request may involve a few sheets of paper, several linear feet of records, or perhaps information in an electronic format. Such responses require staff time, search and duplication efforts, and other resource commitments. Agency information management professionals must efficiently and economically service FOIA requests, doing so, of late, in the sensitized homeland security milieu. Requesters must be satisfied through timely supply, brokerage, or explanation. Simultaneously, agency FOIA costs must be kept reasonable. The perception that these conditions are not operative can result in proposed new corrective amendments to the statute.

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