Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides public access to information from the federal government. It requires agencies to routinely publish information about their organization, functions, and procedures in the Federal Register and to make other records (e.g., agency opinions and policy statements) available in electronic or physical reading rooms. However, the most common use of the FOIA is to make requests for specific records of interest to members of the public. More than 700,000 requests were made to federal agencies in the 2014 fiscal year alone. The expanded volume has also increased the backlog from 75,594 in 2009 to 159,741 at the close of 2014. The Office of Information Policy in the Department of Justice oversees agency compliance with the FOIA.

When Congress passed ...

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