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President Issues New Order on FOIA Disclosures

AP reports Bush to Ease Public Access to Information, via an Executive Order signed this afternoon. According to White House press secretary Scott McClellan’s statements at the briefing today: “The order requires agencies to designate a senior official as the chief officer for Freedom of Information Act requests. They’ll be responsible for agency-wide implementation of the response, or of this disclosure of information. Under the order, each agency will also be required to take a close look at their programs, identify areas in which it can do better, and then map out a plan for the agency to implement those improvements in the coming fiscal years of ’06 and ’07. And agencies will also designate public liaisons to serve as a second level to respond to inquiries from those who are requesting information, to assist in resolving issues after staff in those centers have done their best.”

  • Text of Executive Order 13392: Improving Agency Disclosure of Information
  • As noted by EPIC, “The order does not repeal a memo issued by Attorney General Ashcroft a month after 9/11 that discouraged free release of information under the FOIA.”
  • FOIA postings on beSpacific
  • Related legisation: S. 394 and H.R. 867
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