FOIA Improvement Act of 2016

President Barack Obama signed into law the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 last week. This law codifies many of the Administration’s openness policies and initiatives into the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and advances open government. It also highlights the importance of NARA’s Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) to the FOIA process.

Follow OGIS’s blog, The FOIA Ombudsman, for updates on how the law will be implemented. OGIS’s Kirsten Mitchell provided an update on OGIS activities at the June 14 BRIDG meeting. You can view the remarks at the meeting here:

The federal records management community may be interested in a new sentence added to the Federal Records Act (44 USC 3102). Here is the updated section with the new text (underlined) added:

§ 3102. Establishment of program of management
The head of each Federal agency shall establish and maintain an active, continuing program for the economical and efficient management of the records of the agency. The program, among other things, shall provide for

(1) effective controls over the creation and over the maintenance and use of records in the conduct of current business;

(2) procedures for identifying records of general interest or use to the public that are appropriate for public disclosure, and for posting such records in a publicly accessible electronic format;

(3) cooperation with the Archivist in applying standards, procedures, and techniques designed to improve the management of records, promote the maintenance and security of records deemed appropriate for preservation, and facilitate the segregation and disposal of records of temporary value; and

(4) compliance with sections 2101-2117, 2501-2507, 2901-2909, and 3101-3107, of this title and the regulations issued under them.

We are reviewing this section for its impact on records management and will continue to post updates here on Records Express.