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A Little Sunshine For Congressional OGIS Funding

The Sunshine in Government Initiative hailed as a "milestone" Congressional approval of $1 million in the 2009 budget to fund the Office of Government Information Services.

The OGIS is part of an effort to make the government more responsive to FOIA requests from journalists and ordinary citizens. It will mediate disputes over requests to help ease the process and avoid expensive trips to court by media companies seeking to get the process going.

The office was established as part of a FOIA reform bill that passed the Congress in fall 2007. The bill put more teeth in enforcement, clarifying deadlines for responding to requests, imposing penalties for missing deadlines, clarifying that requests also apply to outside contractors holding government documents and establishing a system for tracking requests.

For additional information, read B&C's story.