The Washington Information Directory (WID) is one of the most historically successful publications at CQ Press. Although it is a “directory,” it has lived in the Library/Annual Edition portfolio because it has a unique profile - it is topically organized, and within the taxonomic structure the relevant organizations are listed not only with contact information but with a brief paragraph describing what the organization (whether government or non-governmental) does related to that topic. It focuses on Washington - in order to be listed, an organization must have an office in the Washington metropolitan area. These descriptions are not boilerplate advertising material from the organizations; rather, they are hand-crafted by a talented freelance research team. In addition, WID pulls together 55 organization charts for federal agencies, congressional resources related to each chapter topic, hotline and contact information for various specific areas of interest (from Food Safety Resources to internships in Washington), and an extensive list of active congressional caucuses and contact details. WID has two appendices, one with thorough information on congresspersons and committees, and the second with governors and embassies.

Freedom of information act

Freedom of information act

Access to government information remains a key issue in Washington. In 1966, Congress passed legislation to broaden access: the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA (PL 89-487; codified in 1967 by PL 90-23). Amendments to expand access even further were passed into law over President Gerald Ford’s veto in 1974 (PL 93-502).

Several organizations in Washington specialize in access to government information. See the “Freedom of Information” section in the Communications and the Media chapter for details (p. 110). The Justice Department electronically publishes a clearinghouse of FOIA information at

1966 Act

The 1966 Act requires executive branch agencies and independent commissions of the federal government to make records, reports, policy statements, and staff manuals available to citizens who request ...

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