Information Even More Free with Passage of Bill to Strengthen FOIA

December 18, 2007 12:00 am

Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States


Washington, DC – The ACLU applauds Congress for passing a bill to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the law that allows Americans to find out what their government is up to. The Openness Promotes Effectiveness in our National (OPEN) Government Act will impose strict, meaningful deadlines on FOIA requests and punish federal agencies if they miss the 20-day deadline the law demands. The bill also ensures requesters will have timely information on the status of their requests, creates real oversight with a FOIA ombudsman and clarifies that government records held by private contractors can be obtained through FOIA.

The following can be attributed to ACLU Policy Counsel Mike German:

“For over 40 years, FOIA has been one of the strongest tools Americans have to obtain government records created at taxpayer expense, and the OPEN Government Act makes FOIA more effective. This law will be a first step to make sure FOIA’s original purpose doesn’t disappear into the shadows of a closed government bureaucracy. Americans have the right to know whether their government is acting in their interests or acting to hide the truth, and strengthening FOIA is a way to hold our officials accountable. We applaud Congress for making this move toward a more transparent government.”

Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.

The Latest in Free Speech

ACLU's Vision

The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.

Learn More About Free Speech

Free Speech issue image

Protecting free speech means protecting a free press, the democratic process, diversity of thought, and so much more. The ACLU has worked since 1920 to ensure that freedom of speech is protected for everyone.