AALL Celebrates Senate Passage of FOIA Reform

March 15, 2016

Today, the Senate passed a bipartisan bill, the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 (S.337), to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act by codifying the presumption in favor of disclosure (often referred to as the presumption of openness) outlined in President Obama’s Memorandum on the Freedom of Information Act; harnessing technology to improve the FOIA process, including requiring the creation of a consolidated online request portal; ending secrecy for 25-year-old drafts and other internal deliberations not otherwise exempt from disclosure; and increasing the independence of the Office of Government Information Services. The House passed its own FOIA improvement bill, the FOIA Oversight and Implementation Act of 2015 (H.R. 653), in January 2016.

AALL commends Congress for recognizing the importance of a strong FOIA law. It is especially meaningful that the Senate took this step during Sunshine Week 2016 (March 13-19), a nationwide initiative to highlight the importance of open government, and just months before the 50th anniversary of the FOIA on July 4th, 2016. We encourage the House and Senate to join together to work out the differences and send the FOIA reform bill to the President’s desk.


February Washington E-Bulletin

February 2, 2016

The February issue of the Washington E-Bulletin is available now on AALLNET.

IN THIS ISSUE
Vol. 2016, Issue 02

A LOOK AHEAD

  • Waiting for the FY 2017 Federal Budget
  • Copyright Modernization Discussions Continue

ACT NOW

  • Sign Up for AALL’s Online Advocacy Training and Virtual Lobby Day

AALL IN THE STATES

  • UELMA in Washington

ROUNDUP AND REVIEW

  • Letter to the FCC in support of a rulemaking on the privacy of broadband consumers
  • Letter in support of House FOIA bill

January Washington E-Bulletin

January 6, 2016

The January issue of the Washington E-Bulletin is available now on AALLNET.

IN THIS ISSUE
Vol. 2016, Issue 01

A LOOK AHEAD

  • What’s to Come in 2016?

ACT NOW

  • Nominations for PAGI and Oakley Advocacy Awards due February 1

ROUNDUP AND REVIEW

  • Comments to OMB on Circular A-130
  • Letter to OMB concerning their Open Government Plan
  • New website for CRS reports

Washington E-Bulletin

December 2, 2015

After a short hiatus, the Washington E-Bulletin has resumed publication. The December issue is available now on AALLNET.

IN THIS ISSUE
Vol. 2015, Issue 10

A LOOK AHEAD

  • Congress Sprints toward Finish Line
  • White House Proposes Weak Update to Info Policy Circular

ACT NOW

  • Take Action Before December 11 in Support of GPO and LC

AALL IN THE STATES

  • A Victory for California County Law Libraries
  • UELMA 2016: Get Ready to Advocate in Your State!

ROUNDUP AND REVIEW

  • New Regional Discard Policy
  • Implementation of the USA Freedom Act
  • House Judiciary Holds ECPA Hearing

September E-Bulletin

September 1, 2015

The September issue of the Washington E-Bulletin is available now on AALLNET.

IN THIS ISSUE
Vol. 2015, Issue 09

A LOOK AHEAD

ACT NOW

AALL IN THE STATES

ROUNDUP AND REVIEW


AALL Joins Coalition to Call for Public Access to Congressional Research Service Reports

August 24, 2015

By Elizabeth Holland

Today, AALL joined a coalition of 40 organizations and 90+ individuals to call on Congress to expand public access to Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports. In a letter sent to the leadership of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, House Committee on House Administration, and Joint Committee on the Library, which share jurisdiction over CRS, we urge the implementation of systematic public access to non-confidential CRS reports. Many individual law librarians also signed the letter.

American taxpayers spend more than $100 million annually to fund the CRS, yet current distribution of these reports is uneven and often expensive. CRS reports are only distributed directly to members of Congress, who can then decide whether or not to distribute them publicly. Those Capitol Hill insiders who know to ask their lawmakers for specific reports by name or who can afford to pay for them in a secondary market are able to access these useful reports, while many students, researchers, and other members of the public are not.

CRS reports play an important role in the legislative process by serving as an authoritative and unbiased source of information for legislators and staff.  Over the past 10 years, CRS reports have been cited in 190 federal court opinions, more than 100 articles in the New York Times and the Washington Post, and are often published in the record of legislative proceedings. The public deserves a consistent and official way to access the non-classified, non-biased information CRS provides. The Government Accountability Office, the Congressional Budget Office, the Law Library of Congress, and 85 percent of G-20 countries with similar parliamentary research offices already make their reports available to the public. We urge Congress to see to it that CRS follow suit.


August Washington E-Bulletin

August 3, 2015

The August issue of the Washington E-Bulletin is available now on AALLNET.

IN THIS ISSUE
Vol. 2015, Issue 08

A LOOK AHEAD

ACT NOW

AALL IN THE STATES

ROUNDUP AND REVIEW


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