- To examine the use of FOIA requests as a tool for government transparency and explore barriers to accessing public documents from the user’s perspective. The Committee will hear from witnesses that use FOIA in news reporting, academic research, and to conduct government oversight.
- Enacted in 1966, FOIA is a transparency tool for individuals to ensure government accountability. Under FOIA, requesters may ask federal agencies for information about any matter. An agency has 20 business days to respond to a request (and an additional ten days for unusual circumstances) and must release non-exempt records to the requester.
- In Fiscal Year 2014, the federal government received 714,231 FOIA requests. The backlog of FOIA cases that had not been processed within the statutory time limit increased by 67 percent to a total of 159,741 backlogged cases.
Witnesses and testimonies
|Sharyl Attkisson||Investigative Reporter||Panel I||Document|
|Jason Leopold||Investigative Reporter||Vice News||Panel I||Document|
|David E. McCraw||VP Assistant General Counsel||New York Times||Panel I||Document|
|Leah Goodman||Investigative Reporter||Newsweek||Panel I||Document|
|Terry Anderson||Adjunct Professor||University of Florida||Panel I||Document|
|Tom Fitton||President||Judicial Watch||Panel II||Document|
|Cleta Mitchell||Partner||Foley & Lardner LLP||Panel II||Document|
|Nate Jones||Director of the Freedom of Information Act Project||National Security Archive||Panel II||Document|
|Lisette Garcia||FOIA Resource Center||Panel II||Document|
|Gabriel Rottman||Legislative Counsel/Policy Advisor||American Civil Liberties Union||Panel II||Document|
|Anne Weismann||Executive Director||Campaign for Accountability||Panel II||Document|
|Chairman Chaffetz Opening Statement||Document|
|White House Counsel Memo||Document|