OMB issues further guidance on FOIA executive order

Agencies must designate a chief Freedom of Information Act officer by Jan. 13, as well as review and revise their FOIA processing requirements by mid-June, according to a memorandum from the Office of Management and Budget.

In the memorandum dated Dec. 30, 2005, OMB also required agencies to establish one or more FOIA service centers and place contact information for public liaisons on their Web sites.

On Dec. 14, 2005, President Bush via executive order directed agencies to streamline their FOIA processing by appointing a chief FOIA officer and making information about how they handle these requests available online within six months.

In the OMB memorandum, deputy director Joel Kaplan provided more specifics and said agency FOIA officers must review their information operations and draft an improvement plan with concrete milestones for fiscal 2006 and 2007.

The plan must be submitted to the Justice Department and OMB and posted on agency Web sites by June 14, Kaplan wrote.

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