The Washington Post has this on the DC Circuit's decision that students can qualify for the Educational Institution Fee Status under the FOIA - prior to this decision only professors usually were granted this fee status.
A local Washington D.C. citizen and neighborhood commissioner has sued the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) over its failure to find responsive material concerning her request on D.C. crime statistics. What makes matters worse in this case is that after filing her request, the EOUSA told the plaintiff that there was a fee for it to conduct a search for responsive records. After raising money via bake sales and other activities, the EOUSA said they had no records after all. It's as if there is no filter at EOUSA thinking about how its responses look to the public - it clearly should have told the requester there were no records prior to making the requester raise and pay exorbitant fees. Now EOUSA prolongs the matter and finds itself justifying both its fee collection and no records response. More can be found here at the Washington City Paper.
Those that follow FOIA know that reports and recommendations are playing an increasingly more important role in shaping the direction of future FOIA policy. The last few weeks have seen the release of some of these. Namely, last month the FOIA working group out of OGIS released its final report and a recommendation to the Archivist that OMB update its decades old guidance on FOIA fees. Additionally, the Department of Justice has released a summary and assessment of 2016 FOIA Officer Reports.
Fortune reports on efforts from agriculture commodity groups to get Congress to exempt the programs that help the marketing of their products from being subject to FOIA. The House Agriculture Committee recently adopted language promoted by the agricultural community. The programs are funded by industry but overseen by the Department of Agriculture, which is how FOIA is involved. The programs include the popular "Got Milk" and "Pork, the other white meat". Basically the agriculture industry would like the help from the government but also want the government's help to not be subject to the FOIA.