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February 26, 2014

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Barry Baga Bagels

It's been a while since I've been involved in open government stuff, but I'm involved again and I'm still bothered by the fact that people assume that late agency responses are due to low FOIA budgets. Courts give agencies the benefit of the doubt as if this situation will always affect all agencies. My suggestion is to add to the legislation a requirement for agencies to publish on their website a detailed report on their FOIA budget, expenditures to date, quantity of requests, and time spent on each step of their searches for documents, whenever they request an extension or are sued. Purposely delaying the release of documents often decreases the chance of an article being published that's not in the interest of the agency. Courts shouldn't assume good faith when time limits have been exceeded or even when a release of documents was timely after granted extensions. If it ends up in court, I want to see some evidence of the alleged good faith.

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