Friday 16 April 2010

DOJ is planning an online FOIA "report card" on 92 federal agencies

In its Open Government Plan (22 page pdf) the US Department of Justice announced that it will create a Web site called the “FOIA Dashboard,” that will collect cross-government data about agency FOIA performance and presents it in an easy‐to‐understand, interactive format. The site will compares 92 federal agencies' compliance with the Freedom of Information Act in hopes that the virtual "report card" will encourage them to improve their responses to the public. According to a DOJ blog post about the plan, the DOJ has a unique responsibility when it comes to FOIA because federal law requires that the department provide guidance on FOIA-related issues to other agencies and that it collects information on FOIA compliance.
According to the DOJ, the FOIA Dashboard will be launched in two key phases. In the first phase, the Department will develop the functionality of the Dashboard with 2009 FOIA data from 25 key executive departments, including DOJ; they estimate this will be completed in September 2010. The second phase, estimated to be completed by March 2011, will involve supplementing this initial data with the 2010 FOIA compliance data from all 92 federal agencies that report it.

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