US Creating FOI Portal for All Agencies

13 January 2012

The United States is nearing creation of a multi-agency portal that automates freedom of information processing and reporting, stores FOIA requests and responses in a repository and keeps records electronically, according to a blog post on the site of the national FOIA ombudsman.

The site to go live in the fall of 2012 will allow requesters to track the status of requests and find, view and download FOIA requests and agency responses, according to the explanation.

The effort was initiated by the Environmental Protection Agency, the agency that administers Regulations.gov, the portal that allows people to comment on federal regulatory proposals. The effort will cost about $1.3 million, the bulk of which is being paid by EPA and the Commerce Department. It is projected to save as much as $200 million over the next five years based on governmentwide adoption.

The founding partners have unveiling the portal to agency FOIA professionals in a series of meetings and will solicit their comments.

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