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House passes bill to ease Freedom of Information Act requests

Feb. 26, 2014 at 1:07 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill that would ease Freedom of Information Act requests and speed up response times.

The FOIA Oversight and Implementation Act of 2014, passed Tuesday, was co-sponsored by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and ranking Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, Politico reported.

The bill would put into action an executive memorandum by President Obama that calls on all agencies to have a "presumption of disclosure" to all Freedom of Information decisions.

Among other things, the bill would create a centralized online portal for FOIA requests through the Office of Management and Budget and establish a group that would recommend improvements to the request process.

FOIA requests currently can be daunting because they go through different agencies and offices, and can take weeks or months for a response.

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