FOIA 2012: the year in review

As 2012 winds down, we wanted to take a look back at the past year at a few of the major events of freedom of information in the U.S.

March 11 – 16: Sunshine Week celebrated nationwide
As part of Sunshine Week 2011, the 13th Annual National Freedom of Information Day Conference was held on March 16 at the Newseum in D.C.

May 9: AINS’ Annual FUG Conference
AINS held its annual FOIAXpress Users Group Conference in Washington D.C. for FOIAXpress users from multiple government agencies. Mr. Richard Huff, former co-director of the OIP, spoke at the event and Frank Vance of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency was presented with our Wayne R. Jewell Customer Appreciation Award.

July 4: 46th Anniversary of FOIA
The Freedom of Information Act turned 46 years old in 2012 after having been signed into law on July 4, 1966 by President Lyndon Johnson.

September 6: DOJ OIP’s summary of FY 2011 Annual FOIA Reports released
The Office of Information Policy (OIP) compiled a summary of the Annual FOIA Reports for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, revealing some interesting trends. As a whole, the Federal Government:

  • Received and Processed more FOIA requests: and 8% increase in total requests received and 5% increase in total requests processed from FY 2010
  • Decreased the use of Exemptions 2: Use of Exemption 2 fell 62% in Fiscal Year 2011 from Fiscal Year 2010 which can largely be attributed to the Supreme Court’s decision in Milner v. Department of the Navy

September 20: OGP’s first birthday
The Open Government Partnership celebrated its first anniversary after being formally launched on September 20, 2011, when the eight founding governments, including the United States, endorsed an Open Government Declaration and announced their country action plans.

September 28: Tenth Annual International “Right to Know Day” celebrated worldwide
To mark the occasion of the 10th International Right to Know Day, countries around the world held events such as conferences, debates, Twitter conversations, rallies, radio programs, roundtable discussions, and social media initiatives to open dialogues about the importance of freedom of information and transparency to the success of democracy.

Happy Holidays to all from the AINS team!