Senate Unanimously Passes FOIA Reform Bill

august 6, 2007  04:07 am
On Friday, when the Senate finally got to vote on the OPEN Government Act of 2007 (S. 849), they unanimously approved the bill and advanced it to the House. The bill had been blocked from a floor vote for months by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), who was acting as a legislative conduit of the Department of Justice, which had several objections to the FOIA reforms. The legislation would be the first major reform to FOIA in more than a decade if passed by the House, which already approved a similar bill (H.R. 1309) by an overwhelming vote of 308-117. "FOIA will still be far from perfect with these changes, but they do provide important new tools that will help requesters get public information faster and hold agencies more accountable when they don't comply with the law," says Dave Tomlin, associate general counsel for The Associated Press.