E-FOIAElectronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 1996
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It didn't have all the things required under E-FOIA, but we didn't have to start from scratch.
Instead, four years after the passage of the E-FOIA amendments, it appears to be a notable exception.
The 1996 E-FOIA amendments essentially extended the original FOIA to records stored electronically and required agencies to provide records in electronic formats.
Perhaps the most visible impact of E-FOIA has been the growth and expansion of federal agency Web sites, which have the potential to provide information to frequently asked FOI questions, assist with FOIA requests and allow online visitors to look at documents without actually having to request them.
com, assessed the amendments' impact this way: "In practical terms, E-FOIA has not yet provided me any new tools to use to obtain records.
In 1998 and 1999, the government watchdog group OMB Watch studied E-FOIA compliance by federal agencies.
Meanwhile, a study released this year by OMB Watch showed that few federal agencies have complied with even the basics of E-FOIA on their Web sites.
I also passed along comments from other journalists that some agencies insist on placing information in unwieldy file formats and resist the requester's plea for a different format, even though E-FOIA requires agencies to release information in the form the requester prefers.
Justice and OMB representatives spoke of how their agencies have assisted and encouraged compliance with E-FOIA.
In fact, neither Ethan Posner of Justice nor Joshua Gotbaum of OMB could offer a concrete assessment of how many agencies are in compliance with E-FOIA.
That's because agencies clearly have blown E-FOIA deadlines and eventually must comply.
E-FOIA has tremendous potential for making the lives of reporters much easier," Sikes said.