POGO: Passage of FOIA Reform a Victory for Democracy

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) today applauds House passage of the bipartisan FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, which President Obama has pledged to sign.

This legislation enhances the public’s ability to hold its officials accountable and understand the workings of our government. Its most important provisions include: the codification of the presumption of openness; curbs to the excessive use of Exemption 5; improved dispute resolution; and requirements to make more preemptive disclosures.

Elizabeth Hempowicz, Policy Counsel at POGO, said:

“On July 4th of this year, FOIA turns 50. There is no better way to celebrate a half century of this important law than by combating the erosion to FOIA that we have been witnessing in recent years.

The Freedom of Information Act is meant to be an effective and efficient tool for granting the public access to government information; however, it has become increasingly difficult for citizens to obtain information through the FOIA process. Through these much-needed reforms, we believe the law will be closer to being implemented as Congress originally intended.

POGO is grateful for the bipartisan leadership on this issue from House Committee on Government Oversight Reform Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Ranking Member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD)."

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Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO’s investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

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