[House Report 113-155]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


113th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    113-155

======================================================================



 
             FOIA OVERSIGHT AND IMPLEMENTATION ACT OF 2013

                                _______
                                

 July 16, 2013.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Issa, from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1211]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 1211) to amend section 552 of title 
5, United States Code (commonly known as the Freedom of 
Information Act), to provide for greater public access to 
information, and for other purposes, having considered the 
same, report favorably thereon with amendments and recommend 
that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Committee Statement and Views....................................     3
Section-by-Section...............................................     7
Explanation of Amendments........................................     8
Committee Consideration..........................................     9
Application of Law to the Legislative Branch.....................     9
Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the 
  Committee......................................................     9
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     9
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     9
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................    10
Federal Advisory Committee Act...................................    10
Unfunded Mandate Statement.......................................    10
Earmark Identification...........................................    10
Committee Estimate...............................................    10
Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate...    10
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill as Reported.............    12
    The amendments (stated in terms of the page and line 
numbers of the introduced bill) are as follows:
    Page 2, line 5, insert ``each place it appears'' before the 
semicolon.
    Page 2, line 13, strike ``proceeding'' and insert 
``following''.
    Page 3, line 5, insert ``and'' at the end.
    Page 3, strike line 6 and all that follows through line 8.
    Page 3, line 9, strike ``(4)'' and insert ``(3)''.
    Page 7, line 14, insert ``of'' after the opening quotation 
marks.
    Page 7, line 18, strike ``new subclauses:'' and insert ``: 
`of--'''.
    Page 10, line 14, strike ``and''.
    Page 10, line 17, strike the period, closing quotation 
marks, and the semicolon and insert ``; and''.
  Page 10, insert after line 17 the following:

          ``(S) the number of times the agency assessed a 
        search or duplication fee under subsection (a)(4)(A) 
        and did not comply with a time limit under subsection 
        (a)(6).'';

  Page 13, after line 15, insert the following new subsection 
(and redesignate subsequent subsections accordingly):

  (g) Search or Duplication Fees.--Section 552(a)(4)(A)(viii) 
of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end 
the following new sentence: ``Any agency that does assess 
search or duplication fees after failing to comply with a time 
limit under paragraph (6) shall provide written notice to the 
requester of the circumstance that justifies the fees. If an 
agency fails to provide such notice, the agency may not assess 
search or duplication fees.''.

  Page 13, line 22, strike ``the implementation'' and insert 
``compliance with and implementation of the requirements''.
  Page 13, line 23, strike ``; and'' and insert a semicolon.
  Page 14, strike lines 1 through 3, and insert the following:

          ``(2) catalog the number of exemptions under 
        subsection (b)(3) and agency use of such exemptions; 
        and
          ``(3) review and prepare a report on the processing 
        of requests by agencies for information pertaining to 
        an entity that has received assistance under title I of 
        the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (12 
        U.S.C. 5211 et seq.) during any period in which the 
        Government owns or owned more than 50 percent of the 
        stock of such entity.''.
  At the end of the bill, add the following:

SEC. 4. INSPECTOR GENERAL REVIEW; ADVERSE ACTIONS.

  (a) Inspector General Review.--
          (1) In general.--The Inspector General of each agency 
        shall--
                  (A) periodically review compliance with the 
                requirements of section 552 of title 5, United 
                States Code, including the timely processing of 
                requests, assessment of fees and fee waivers, 
                and the use of exemptions under subsection (b) 
                of such section; and
                  (B) make recommendations the Inspector 
                General determines to be necessary to the head 
                of the agency, including recommendations for 
                disciplinary action.
          (2) Agency defined.--In this subsection, the term 
        ``agency'' has the meaning given that term under 
        section 552(f) of title 5, United States Code.
  (b) Adverse Actions.--The withholding of information in a 
manner inconsistent with the requirements of section 552 of 
title 5, United States Code (including any rules, regulations, 
or other implementing guidelines), as determined by the 
appropriate supervisor, shall be a basis for disciplinary 
action in accordance with subchapter I, II, or V of chapter 75 
of such title, as the case may be.

                     Committee Statement and Views


                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    The purpose of H.R. 1211, the FOIA Oversight and 
Implementation Act of 2013, is to strengthen the Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA) to increase transparency and 
accountability in government. It amends FOIA to provide for 
more proactive disclosure of records, encourages enhanced 
agency compliance, and improves the FOIA process for both 
agencies and requesters.
    H.R. 1211 increases the amount of agency information made 
available through proactive disclosure. Records requested under 
FOIA more than three times will be posted online for public 
inspection and copying. Each agency shall also review its 
records to determine whether any records ought to be released 
because they are in the public interest, and establish 
procedures for identifying categories of records that can be 
proactively disclosed to the public on a regular basis. These 
provisions will increase the amount of information the public 
can access without even filing a FOIA request.
    H.R. 1211 establishes a single website, accessible to the 
public at no cost, which will allow people to submit FOIA 
requests, file appeals, and receive automated information about 
the status of their requests in a single location.
    H.R. 1211 establishes a presumption of openness for 
agencies processing FOIA requests. Attorney General Eric 
Holder's March 2009 Memorandum to agencies directed them to 
disclose information whenever possible, and to not withhold 
information simply because it can be legally withheld under a 
FOIA exemption. H.R. 1211 would codify the presumption of 
openness, making it a permanent requirement for agencies.
    H.R. 1211 strengthens the role of the Office of Government 
Information Services (OGIS), an entity created by the OPEN 
Government Act of 2007. OGIS acts as a FOIA ombudsman for 
agencies and requesters, and is also tasked with alternate 
dispute resolution to resolve FOIA cases. H.R. 1211 provides 
OGIS with direct reporting to Congress, without the need for 
interagency review. OGIS would also be tasked with increased 
review of compliance with FOIA, including the timely processing 
of requests, fees and fee waivers, and the use of exemptions. 
OGIS will submit an annual report to Congress on its review. It 
will also hold at least one public meeting per year to allow 
interested persons to appear and present oral or written 
statements.
    H.R. 1211 clarifies the right of any individual to appeal 
an agency's determination regarding a FOIA request filed by 
that individual. The agency must give requesters at least 90 
days to appeal an adverse determination. A time limit for 
appeals is not currently codified, so this provision will 
strengthen requester rights to file appeals.
    H.R. 1211 increases the amount of information reported by 
agencies in annual FOIA reports. The bill requires each agency 
to report how often it invoked law enforcement exclusions, how 
often it engaged in dispute resolution, how often it made 
information available to the public through proactive 
disclosure, and how often it assessed a search or duplication 
fee for a request when the agency did not comply with the 
statutory time limits for responding to that request. The 
reports would be sent to OGIS, as well as the Attorney General. 
Additionally, the raw data used by agencies to complete their 
annual FOIA reports will be made available online in a fully 
useable, bulk-downloadable and machine-readable format.
    The bill requires the Government Accountability Office 
(GAO) to conduct audits of agency compliance with FOIA. It will 
also catalog the number of exemptions under subsection (b)(3) 
of FOIA. GAO will also review and report on agency processing 
of FOIA requests seeking information about private entities 
that receive or received assistance under the Emergency 
Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 during any period in which 
the government owned or owns more than 50 percent of the stock 
of such entity.
    H.R. 1211 increases the oversight responsibilities of 
agency Chief FOIA Officers, requiring each agency Chief FOIA 
Officer to annually review all aspects of FOIA compliance by 
the agency. The bill also establishes a Chief FOIA Officers 
Council, which shall be chaired by the Director of the Office 
of Information Policy at the Department of Justice, and the 
Director of OGIS. The Council is tasked with: developing 
recommendations to increase FOIA compliance and efficiency; 
sharing information on ideas, best practices, and innovative 
approaches to improve FOIA; identifying ways to better 
coordinate initiatives to increase transparency; and promoting 
the development and use of performance measures for agency FOIA 
compliance. The Council shall meet regularly, and will hold 
annual meetings that are open to the public at which interested 
persons are allowed to present oral and written statements. All 
Council records, except any records relating to national 
security, shall be made publicly available.
    Agencies must update their FOIA regulations no later than 
180 days after H.R. 1211 is enacted. Regulations must include 
procedures for engaging in dispute resolution and procedures 
for engaging with OGIS. The regulations shall be reviewed by 
OGIS to ensure they are compliant and consistent with current 
FOIA law. Any agency that fails to comply will have to submit a 
report to Congress to explain its noncompliance. Agencies that 
do not comply will also be reviewed by their Office of 
Inspector General to evaluate agency compliance with FOIA law.
    H.R. 1211 creates a pilot program to evaluate the use of a 
centralized FOIA portal to receive, process, and publicly 
disseminate records in response to FOIA requests. The portal 
must allow people to submit FOIA requests to any participating 
agency in one location, and to track the processing of their 
requests. All records produced in response to requests are to 
be placed automatically online and be made available to the 
requester and the general public. The pilot requires three new 
agencies to participate in the FOIA portal, and to use it to 
track and process requests and post responsive records online. 
The pilot will last for three years. At the end of the pilot, 
the Office of Management and Budget will review the benefits of 
the FOIA portal, including cost and resource savings; increased 
efficiency, transparency, and accountability; and ability to 
complete annual FOIA reports. It will also assess any change in 
the amount of FOIA requests received. Each agency shall report 
to Congress on its experience using the FOIA portal and any 
related recommendations the agency considers appropriate.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    FOIA was enacted in 1966, after eleven years of legislative 
development in the House of Representatives and almost six 
years of consideration in the Senate.\1\ At the time of 
enactment, FOIA was the third freedom of information law in the 
world, and by far the most comprehensive.\2\ It established an 
important precedent by giving the public a formal method to 
request and receive information from the government.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Congressional Research Service, ``FOIA: Background and Policy 
Options for the 113th Congress,'' March 8, 2013.
    \2\U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and 
Government Reform, ``A Citizen's Guide on Using the Freedom of 
Information Act and the Privacy Act of 1974 to Request Government 
Records,'' September 2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    FOIA establishes a presumption that records in the 
possession of Executive Branch agencies and departments of the 
U.S. Federal Government are accessible to the people. This 
presumption was not always the approach to federal information 
access policy. Before FOIA, those seeking information were 
required to show a need for information. FOIA replaced the 
``need to know'' standard with a ``right to know.'' As a 
result, FOIA is often referred to as the embodiment of ``the 
people's right to know'' about the activities and operations of 
government.
    Under FOIA, anyone may file a request for a copy of any 
existing record at any federal agency for any reason. 
Information requested under FOIA is required to be released 
unless it falls under any of nine narrow exemptions to protect 
certain information from disclosure. Dispute over requests for 
information under FOIA may be appealed administratively, 
resolved through mediation, or litigated in court.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Congressional Research Service, ``FOIA: Background and Policy 
Options for the 113th Congress.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Since its enactment, FOIA has been amended multiple times 
in efforts to increase agency compliance with the requirements 
of the act and improve the process. FOIA was amended in 1974, 
1976, 1986, 1996, 2007, and 2010. Despite these amendments, 
significant problems persist. H.R. 1211 helps to address many 
of these issues.
    One issue is the use of the nine statutory FOIA exemptions, 
which allow for the withholding of records to protect sensitive 
information from disclosure. There is concern that agencies are 
overusing exemptions to protect records that should be 
releasable under law. In March 2009, Attorney General Eric 
Holder issued guidance stating that ``an agency should not 
withhold information simply because it may do so legally,'' and 
established a presumption of disclosure.\4\ Many agencies have 
failed to adopt this practice fully, and withhold information 
that could be released.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\See Note 2, Supra.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Fees and fee waivers are another problem that requires 
further legislation. FOIA does not allow agencies to assess 
search fees if the agency does not comply with specific 
statutory time limits to respond to requesters. Additionally, 
many requesters qualify for a waiver of fees. Agencies have not 
fully complied with the statute. Some agencies charge excessive 
fees, or engage in fee assessment practices designed to 
dissuade requesters.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Washington Examiner, ``EPA Inspector General Investigating 
Claims Agency Used Fees to Block FOIA Requests,'' May 16, 2013. See 
also: ``Suit: Spy Agency Flouting FOIA,'' Politico, February 22, 2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The backlog of FOIA requests has increased in recent years, 
and has led to significant delays in the processing of 
requests. The number of FOIA requests rose from 597,415 in 
Fiscal Year 2010 to 644,165 in Fiscal Year 2011, a 7.8 percent 
increase.\6\ During that same time frame, backlogs increased 
20.8 percent. From FY 2010 to FY 2011, the total backlog of 
FOIA requests increased from 69,526 to 83,490.\7\ Agencies have 
made efforts to reduce FOIA backlogs, but they continue to be a 
consistent problem.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Testimony of 
Melanie Ann Pustay, Hearing on FOIA in the 21st Century: Using 
Technology to Improve Transparency in Government, March 21, 2012 (H. 
Rept. 112-140).
    \7\Department of Justice, ``Summary of Annual FOIA Reports for 
Fiscal Year 2011,'' accessed May 5, 2013.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Many agencies are failing to comply with FOIA requirements 
to make frequently requested records publicly available online. 
The Department of Justice issued guidance instructing agencies 
to release records that have been requested three or more 
times.\8\ The proactive disclosure of records in the public 
interest has been limited though. Proactive disclosure could 
reduce the number of FOIA requests, requiring less processing 
time for agencies.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\Department of Justice, Office of Information Policy (previously 
Office of Information and Privacy), FOIA Post, ``FOIA Counselor Q&A: 
`Frequently Requested' Records,'' accessed January 22, 2013.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    FOIA law encourages the use of alternate dispute resolution 
to avoid lawsuits whenever possible. Each agency has a FOIA 
Public Liaison, who is tasked with assisting ``in the 
resolution of any disputes between the requester and the 
agency.''\9\ The Office of Government Information Services was 
also created to offer mediation services and work to resolve 
disputes. Despite these actions, the number of FOIA lawsuits 
continues to rise.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\P.L. 110-175.
    \10\The FOIA Project, ``FOIA Lawsuits Increase During Obama 
Administration,'' December 20, 2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    H.R. 1211 was introduced on March 15, 2013, by Chairman 
Issa, with Ranking Member Cummings as an original cosponsor.
    On March 13, 2013, the Committee on Oversight and 
Government Reform held a hearing on FOIA and related issues 
entitled, ``Addressing Transparency in the Federal Bureaucracy: 
Moving Toward A More Open Government.'' The Committee heard 
testimony from representatives of transparency watchdog groups, 
including Ms. Angela Canterbury, Director of Public Policy, 
Project on Government Oversight; Mr. Jim Harper, Director of 
Information Policy Studies, Cato Institute; Mr. Daniel Schuman, 
Policy Counsel, The Sunlight Foundation; and Ms. Celia Wexler, 
Senior Washington Representative, Center for Science and 
Democracy, Union of Concerned Scientists.
    On March 20, 2013, the Committee considered H.R. 1211. 
Amendments offered by Reps. Duckworth, Turner, and Mica were 
agreed to by voice vote. H.R. 1211, as amended, was then 
adopted by voice vote and ordered reported favorably to the 
House.

                           Section-by-Section


Section 1. Short title

    This section is the short title of the bill, ``FOIA 
Oversight and Implementation Act of 2013,'' or the ``FOIA 
Act.''

Section 2. Freedom of Information Act Amendments

    This section amends FOIA by--
    (1) Increasing electronic accessibility by requiring 
agencies to post more information online in publicly accessible 
formats. Agencies will post information requested three or more 
times online in a publicly accessible format, as well as other 
records that would contribute to public interest. Annual 
reports and the raw data of the reports will also be publicly 
accessible without request, and there will be a single website 
for the public to submit FOIA requests and receive information 
about the status of requests.
    (2) Putting into statute President Obama's and Attorney 
General Holder's memorandums requiring agencies to adopt a 
presumption of openness when responding to requests. Under the 
Act, agencies may only withhold information if the disclosure 
of such records could cause foreseeable harm. It places the 
burden on agencies to demonstrate why information may be 
withheld, instead of on the public to justify release. The FOIA 
Act also puts into statute the President's recommendation to 
utilize technology to increase transparency and evaluate 
records to determine whether they should be publicly available.
    (3) Strengthening the Office of Government Information 
Services (OGIS) by giving it increased independence. OGIS shall 
report directly to Congress without interagency review. It will 
review agency compliance with all aspects of FOIA, and report 
recommendations. OGIS will also hold public meetings at least 
once a year.
    (4) Requiring agencies to report more information in annual 
reports. Agencies would for the first time have to report the 
number of times they invoked law enforcement exclusions, 
engaged in dispute resolution, and the number of records made 
publicly available. Annual reports would be completed by March 
1 of each year instead of April 1.
    (5) Requiring the Government Accountability Office to 
catalog all uses of (b)(3) exemptions, which are FOIA 
exemptions created by other statutes. Currently, it is unknown 
how many (b)(3) exemptions exist.
    (6) Increasing responsibilities for OGIS, DOJ, and Chief 
FOIA Officers to review FOIA compliance and make 
recommendations. DOJ will have to report more information about 
FOIA lawsuits. OGIS and Chief FOIA Officers will both review 
FOIA compliance and make recommendations to improve the 
process.
    (7) Creating a Chief FOIA Officers Council, based on the 
CIO Council. It shall be run jointly by OGIS and DOJ's Office 
of Information Policy as co-chairs. All agency Chief FOIA 
Officers shall be members of the Council. The Council will meet 
regularly to review FOIA compliance and discuss improvements. 
Records of the meetings shall be publicly available, and all 
meetings shall be noticed in the Federal Register beforehand. 
No less than once a year, the Council shall have a public 
meeting where interested persons may submit statements in 
writing or in person.
    (8) Requiring each agency to update its FOIA regulations 
within 180 days of enactment. The regulations shall include 
procedures on dispute resolution and working with OGIS. OGIS 
will review whether agencies comply with this, and if agencies 
fail to update their regulations they will have to report to 
Congress on their failure to do so and will be subject to a 
review of their FOIA compliance by their Office of Inspector 
General.

Section 3. Pilot program

    The section establishes a pilot program to review 
FOIAonline, the public portal that allows requesters to submit 
and review requests for multiple agencies at a single location. 
The pilot program will last for three years and will require 
three additional agencies to use FOIAonline to process FOIA 
requests and make records available online. At the end of the 
pilot, agencies are to report to Congress on the results of the 
program and make recommendations as to whether it will continue 
to use FOIAonline.

Section 4. Inspector General review; Adverse actions

    This section requires the Inspector General of each agency 
to periodically review agency compliance with the requirements 
of FOIA, including timely processing of requests, assessments 
of fees and fee waivers, and the use of exemptions, and to make 
any necessary recommendations to the agency head to improve the 
process. Recommendations may include disciplinary action. 
Additionally, the amendment would make the withholding of 
information in a manner inconsistent with FOIA a basis for 
disciplinary action.

                       Explanation of Amendments


Amendment offered by Ms. Duckworth

    Ms. Duckworth's amendment requires agencies to report the 
number of times they assessed a search or duplication fee for a 
FOIA request when the agency failed to comply with FOIA request 
response deadlines. This information would be included in 
agencies' annual FOIA reports. The amendment would also require 
agencies to notify a requester if the requester was assessed 
search or duplication fees after the agency failed to comply 
with time limits under FOIA, and inform the requester of the 
circumstances that would justify the fees. If an agency fails 
to inform the requester, it may not collect fees.

Amendment offered by Mr. Mica

    Mr. Mica's amendment added a section to the end of the bill 
that tasks the Inspector General of each agency with 
periodically reviewing agency compliance with the requirements 
of FOIA and making any necessary recommendations to the agency 
head to improve the process--recommendations may include 
disciplinary action. Additionally, the amendment would make the 
withholding of information in a manner inconsistent with FOIA a 
basis for disciplinary action.

Amendment offered by Mr. Turner

    Mr. Turner's amendment requires the Government 
Accountability Office to report on agencies' processing of FOIA 
requests seeking information about entities that are owned or 
have been owned by the government. Specifically, the report 
would review requests for information on entities that have 
received assistance under title I of the Emergency Economic 
Stabilization Act of 2008 (12 U.S.C. 5211 et seq.) during any 
period the Government owned more than 50 percent of the stock 
of the entity. This would cover Government sponsored 
enterprises and would shed light on FOIA policy pertaining to 
these entities.

                        Committee Consideration

    On March 20, 2013, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered reported favorably the bill, H.R. 1211, as amended, by 
voice vote, a quorum being present.

              Application of Law to the Legislative Branch

    Section 102(b)(3) of Public Law 104-1 requires a 
description of the application of this bill to the legislative 
branch where the bill relates to the terms and conditions of 
employment or access to public services and accommodations. 
This bill provides for more proactive disclosure of records, 
encourages enhanced agency compliance, and improves the FOIA 
process for both agencies and requesters. Legislative branch 
employees and their families, to the extent that they are 
otherwise eligible for the benefits provided by this 
legislation, have equal access to its benefits.

  Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the Committee

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
2(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives, 
the Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in the descriptive portions of this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goals and objectives are reflected in the descriptive portions 
of this report.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    No provision of H.R. 1211 establishes or reauthorizes a 
program of the Federal Government known to be duplicative of 
another Federal program, a program that was included in any 
report from the Government Accountability Office to Congress 
pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program 
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    The FOIA Oversight and Implementation Act will require 
agencies to promulgate new regulations on procedures for 
processing requests under FOIA. Agencies are already required 
to have regulations on FOIA, but this Act will ensure these 
regulations are current. Agencies will specifically have to 
create new regulations on interactions with the Office of 
Government Information Services, and procedures used for 
dispute resolution services.

                     Federal Advisory Committee Act

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not establish 
or authorize the establishment of an advisory committee within 
the definition of 5 U.S.C. App., Section 5(b).

                       Unfunded Mandate Statement

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act (as amended by Section 101(a)(2) of the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act, P.L. 104-4) requires a statement as to 
whether the provisions of the reported include unfunded 
mandates. In compliance with this requirement the Committee has 
received a letter from the Congressional Budget Office included 
herein.

                         Earmark Identification

    H.R. 1211 does not include any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI.

                           Committee Estimate

    Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs that would be incurred in carrying out 
H.R. 1211. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) of that rule provides 
that this requirement does not apply when the Committee has 
included in its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the 
bill prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act.

     Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect 
to requirements of clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives and section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has received 
the following cost estimate for H.R. 1211 from the Director of 
Congressional Budget Office:

                                                      May 21, 2013.
Hon. Darrell Issa,
Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1211, the FOIA 
Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact for this 
estimate is Matthew Pickford.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1211--FOIA Act

    Summary: H.R. 1211 would amend the Freedom of Information 
Act (FOIA). FOIA generally allows any person to obtain federal 
agency records. Specifically, the legislation would require the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to establish a single 
FOIA website for making requests and checking on the status of 
those requests; establish a Chief FOIA Officers Council to 
review compliance with the act and to recommend improvements; 
and require additional reports from the National Archives and 
Records Administration (NARA) and other agencies.
    CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1211 would cost $20 
million over the 2014-2018 period, assuming appropriation of 
the necessary amounts. The legislation also could affect direct 
spending by agencies not funded through annual appropriations 
(such as the Tennessee Valley Authority). Therefore, pay-as-
you-go procedures apply. CBO estimates, however, that any net 
increase in spending by those agencies would not be 
significant. Enacting the bill would not affect revenues.
    H.R. 1211 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 1211 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within all budget functions 
that contain salaries and expenses.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                                   ---------------------------------------------
                                                                     2014   2015   2016   2017   2018  2014-2018
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Estimated Authorization Level.....................................      5      5      4      4      4        22
Estimated Outlays.................................................      4      4      4      4      4        20
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of the estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that 
the bill will be enacted by the end of fiscal year 2013, that 
the necessary amounts will be appropriated for each year, and 
that spending will follow historical patterns for FOIA 
activities.
    Enacted in 1966, FOIA was designed to enable anyone to 
request, without explanation or justification, copies of 
existing, identifiable, and unpublished records from the 
executive branch. OMB issues guidelines to agencies on fees to 
charge for providing requested information, while DOJ oversees 
agency compliance with FOIA. In 2012, federal agencies 
(excluding the Social Security Administration) received more 
than 650,000 FOIA requests. In addition, DOJ reports that in 
fiscal year 2012, agencies employed about 4,400 full-time staff 
to fulfill FOIA requests and spent around $485 million on FOIA-
related activities.
    CBO expects that OMB would expand the use of existing 
websites that are currently used to fulfill FOIA requests. A 
governmentwide website (FOIA.gov) is operated by the Department 
of Justice, and FOIAonline.gov is a Web application operated by 
the Environmental Protection Agency that allows the public to 
track and search some FOIA requests. Nonetheless, CBO 
anticipates that the workloads of most agencies would increase 
to carry out the bill's new reporting requirements. We also 
estimate that NARA would face additional costs to arrange for a 
new annual meeting and to establish a Chief FOIA Officers 
Council to review and improve the FOIA process. Based on the 
costs of similar electronic filing systems and websites and a 
review of the annual reports by 15 major agencies over the last 
five years, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1211 would add 
about 1 percent--around $5 million annually--to the 
governmentwide costs of administering FOIA.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go 
Act of 2010 establishes budget-reporting and enforcement 
procedures for legislation affecting direct spending or 
revenues. Enacting H.R. 1211 could affect net direct spending 
for agencies not funded through the appropriations process, but 
CBO estimates that such effects would not be significant in any 
year.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 1211 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would not affect the budgets of state, 
local, or tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Matthew Pickford; 
Impact on state, local, and tribal governments: Elizabeth Cove 
Delisle; Impact on private sector: Paige Piper/Bach.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

TITLE 5, UNITED STATES CODE

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PART I--THE AGENCIES GENERALLY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 5--ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SUBCHAPTER II--ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Sec. 552. Public information; agency rules, opinions, orders, records, 
                    and proceedings

  (a) Each agency shall make available to the public 
information as follows:
          (1) * * *
          (2) Each agency, in accordance with published rules, 
        shall make available [for public inspection and 
        copying] in an electronic, publicly accessible format--
                  (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  [(E) a general index of the records referred 
                to under subparagraph (D);]
                  (E) copies of all records, regardless of form 
                or format, that have been released three or 
                more times under paragraph (3); and
                  (F) a general index of the records referred 
                to under subparagraphs (D) and (E);
unless the materials are promptly published and copies offered 
for sale. For records created on or after November 1, 1996, 
within one year after such date, each agency shall make such 
records available, including by computer telecommunications or, 
if computer telecommunications means have not been established 
by the agency, by other electronic means. To the extent 
required to prevent a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal 
privacy, an agency may delete identifying details when it makes 
available or publishes an opinion, statement of policy, 
interpretation, staff manual, instruction, or copies of records 
referred to in [subparagraph (D)] subparagraphs (D) and (E). 
However, in each case the justification for the deletion shall 
be explained fully in writing, and the extent of such deletion 
shall be indicated on the portion of the record which is made 
available or published, unless including that indication would 
harm an interest protected by the exemption in subsection (b) 
under which the deletion is made. If technically feasible, the 
extent of the deletion shall be indicated at the place in the 
record where the deletion was made. Each agency shall also 
maintain and make available [for public inspection and copying] 
in an electronic, publicly accessible format current indexes 
providing identifying information for the public as to any 
matter issued, adopted, or promulgated after July 4, 1967, and 
required by this paragraph to be made available or published. 
Each agency shall promptly publish, quarterly or more 
frequently, and distribute (by sale or otherwise) copies of 
each index or supplements thereto unless it determines by order 
published in the Federal Register that the publication would be 
unnecessary and impracticable, in which case the agency shall 
nonetheless provide copies of such index on request at a cost 
not to exceed the direct cost of duplication. Each agency shall 
make the index referred to in [subparagraph (E)] subparagraph 
(F) available by computer telecommunications by December 31, 
1999. A final order, opinion, statement of policy, 
interpretation, or staff manual or instruction that affects a 
member of the public may be relied on, used, or cited as 
precedent by an agency against a party other than an agency 
only if--
          (i) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (4)(A)(i) In order to carry out the provisions of this 
section, each agency shall promulgate regulations, pursuant to 
notice and receipt of public comment, specifying the schedule 
of fees applicable to the processing of requests under this 
section and establishing procedures and guidelines for 
determining when such fees should be waived or reduced. Such 
schedule shall conform to the guidelines which shall be 
promulgated, pursuant to notice and receipt of public comment, 
by [the Director of the Office of Management and Budget] the 
Director of the Office of Management and Budget, in 
consultation with the Director of the Office of Government 
Information Services, and which shall provide for a uniform 
schedule of fees for all agencies.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (viii) An agency shall not assess search fees (or in the case 
of a requester described under clause (ii)(II), duplication 
fees) under this subparagraph if the agency fails to comply 
with any time limit under paragraph (6), if no unusual or 
exceptional circumstances (as those terms are defined for 
purposes of paragraphs (6)(B) and (C), respectively) apply to 
the processing of the request. Any agency that does assess 
search or duplication fees after failing to comply with a time 
limit under paragraph (6) shall provide written notice to the 
requester of the circumstance that justifies the fees. If an 
agency fails to provide such notice, the agency may not assess 
search or duplication fees.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (6)(A) Each agency, upon any request for records made under 
paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of this subsection, shall--
          (i) determine within 20 days (excepting Saturdays, 
        Sundays, and legal public holidays) after the receipt 
        of any such request whether to comply with such request 
        and shall immediately notify the person making such 
        request [of such determination and the reasons 
        therefor, and of the right of such person to appeal to 
        the head of the agency any adverse determination; 
        and:]of--
                  (I) such determination and the reasons 
                therefor;
                  (II) the right of such person to seek 
                assistance from the agency FOIA Public Liaison; 
                and
                  (III) the right of such person to appeal to 
                the head of the agency any adverse 
                determination, not later than 90 days after the 
                receipt of such adverse determination; and
          (ii) make a determination with respect to any appeal 
        within twenty days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and 
        legal public holidays) after the receipt of such 
        appeal[.] and the right of such person to seek dispute 
        resolution services from the agency FOIA Public Liaison 
        or the Office of Government Information Services. If on 
        appeal the denial of the request for records is in 
        whole or in part upheld, the agency shall notify the 
        person making such request of the provisions for 
        judicial review of that determination under paragraph 
        (4) of this subsection.
The 20-day period under clause (i) shall commence on the date 
on which the request is first received by the appropriate 
component of the agency, but in any event not later than ten 
days after the request is first received by any component of 
the agency that is designated in the agency's regulations under 
this section to receive requests under this section. The 20-day 
period shall not be tolled by the agency except--
                  (I) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (7) Each agency shall--
                  (A) establish a system to assign an 
                individualized tracking number for each request 
                received [that will take longer than ten days 
                to process] and provide to each person making a 
                request the tracking number assigned to the 
                request; and
                  (B) establish a telephone line or Internet 
                service that provides automated information 
                about the status of a request to the person 
                making the request using the assigned tracking 
                number, including--
                          (i) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (8) Disclosure of information for increased public 
        understanding of the government.--Each agency shall--
                  (A) review the records of such agency to 
                determine whether the release of the records 
                would be in the public interest because it is 
                likely to contribute significantly to public 
                understanding of the operations or activities 
                of the Government;
                  (B) for records determined to be in the 
                public interest under subparagraph (A), 
                reasonably segregate and redact any information 
                exempted from disclosure under subsection (b); 
                and
                  (C) make available in an electronic, publicly 
                accessible format, any records identified in 
                subparagraph (A), as modified pursuant to 
                subparagraph (B).
          (9) Increased disclosure of information.--Each agency 
        shall--
                  (A) make information public to the greatest 
                extent possible through modern technology to--
                          (i) inform the public of the 
                        operations and activities of the 
                        Government; and
                          (ii) ensure timely disclosure of 
                        information; and
                  (B) establish procedures for identifying 
                categories of records that may be disclosed 
                regularly and additional records of interest to 
                the public that are appropriate for public 
                disclosure, and for posting such records in an 
                electronic, publicly accessible format.
  (b) This section does not apply to matters that would cause 
foreseeable harm and that are--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (e)(1) On or before February 1 of each year, each agency 
shall submit to the Attorney General of the United States and 
to the Director of the Office of Government Information 
Services a report which shall cover the preceding fiscal year 
and which shall include--
          (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (N) the total amount of fees collected by the agency 
        for processing requests[; and];
          (O) the number of full-time staff of the agency 
        devoted to processing requests for records under this 
        section, and the total amount expended by the agency 
        for processing such requests[.];
          (P) the number of times the agency invoked a law 
        enforcement exclusion under subsection (c);
          (Q) the number of times the agency engaged in dispute 
        resolution with the assistance of the Office of 
        Government Information Services or the FOIA Public 
        Liaison;
          (R) the number of records that were made available in 
        an electronic, publicly accessible format under 
        subsection (a)(2); and
          (S) the number of times the agency assessed a search 
        or duplication fee under subsection (a)(4)(A) and did 
        not comply with a time limit under subsection (a)(6).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  [(3) Each agency shall make each such report available to the 
public including by computer telecommunications, or if computer 
telecommunications means have not been established by the 
agency, by other electronic means. In addition, each agency 
shall make the raw statistical data used in its reports 
available electronically to the public upon request.]
    (3) Electronic accessibility of reports.--Each agency shall 
make each such report available in an electronic, publicly 
accessible format. In addition, each agency shall make the raw 
statistical data used in its reports available in a timely 
manner in an electronic, publicly accessible format. Such data 
shall be--
          (A) made available without charge, license, or 
        registration requirement;
          (B) capable of being searched and aggregated; and
          (C) permitted to be downloaded and downloaded in 
        bulk.
  (4) The Attorney General of the United States shall make each 
report which has been made available by electronic means 
available at a single electronic access point. The Attorney 
General of the United States shall notify the Chairman and 
ranking minority member of the [Committee on Government Reform 
and Oversight] Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of 
the House of Representatives and the Chairman and ranking 
minority member of the Committees on [Governmental Affairs] 
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the Judiciary of 
the Senate, no later than [April 1] March 1 of the year in 
which each such report is issued, that such reports are 
available by electronic means.
  (5) The Attorney General of the United States, in 
consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and 
Budget and the Director of the Office of Government Information 
Services, shall develop reporting and performance guidelines in 
connection with reports required by this subsection [by October 
1, 1997], and may establish additional requirements for such 
reports as the Attorney General determines may be useful.
  [(6) The Attorney General of the United States shall submit 
an annual report on or before April 1 of each calendar year 
which shall include for the prior calendar year a listing of 
the number of cases arising under this section, the exemption 
involved in each case, the disposition of such case, and the 
cost, fees, and penalties assessed under subparagraphs (E), 
(F), and (G) of subsection (a)(4). Such report shall also 
include a description of the efforts undertaken by the 
Department of Justice to encourage agency compliance with this 
section.]
    (6) Attorney general foia report.--
          (A) In general.--The Attorney General of the United 
        States shall submit to Congress and the President an 
        annual report on or before March 1 of each calendar 
        year which shall include for the prior calendar year--
                  (i) a listing of the number of cases arising 
                under this section;
                  (ii) each subsection under this section, each 
                paragraph of the subsection, and any exemption, 
                if applicable, involved in each case, the 
                disposition of such case, and the cost, fees, 
                and penalties assessed under subparagraphs (E), 
                (F), and (G) of subsection (a)(4); and
                  (iii) a description of the efforts undertaken 
                by the Department of Justice to encourage 
                agency compliance with this section.
          (B) Electronic availability.--The Attorney General of 
        the United States--
                  (i) shall make each report described under 
                subparagraph (A) available in an electronic, 
                publicly accessible format; and
                  (ii) shall make the raw statistical data used 
                in each report available in an electronic, 
                publicly accessible format, which shall be--
                          (I) made available without charge, 
                        license, or registration requirement;
                          (II) capable of being searched and 
                        aggregated; and
                          (III) permitted to be downloaded, 
                        including downloaded in bulk.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (g) The head of each agency shall prepare and [make publicly 
available upon request] make available in an electronic, 
publicly accessible format, reference material or a guide for 
requesting records or information from the agency, subject to 
the exemptions in subsection (b), including--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  [(h)(1) There is established the Office of Government 
Information Services within the National Archives and Records 
Administration.
  [(2) The Office of Government Information Services shall--
          [(A) review policies and procedures of administrative 
        agencies under this section;
          [(B) review compliance with this section by 
        administrative agencies; and
          [(C) recommend policy changes to Congress and the 
        President to improve the administration of this 
        section.
  [(3) The Office of Government Information Services shall 
offer mediation services to resolve disputes between persons 
making requests under this section and administrative agencies 
as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation and, at the 
discretion of the Office, may issue advisory opinions if 
mediation has not resolved the dispute.
  [(i) The Government Accountability Office shall conduct 
audits of administrative agencies on the implementation of this 
section and issue reports detailing the results of such audits.
  [(j) Each agency shall designate a Chief FOIA Officer who 
shall be a senior official of such agency (at the Assistant 
Secretary or equivalent level).
  [(k) The Chief FOIA Officer of each agency shall, subject to 
the authority of the head of the agency--
          [(1) have agency-wide responsibility for efficient 
        and appropriate compliance with this section;
          [(2) monitor implementation of this section 
        throughout the agency and keep the head of the agency, 
        the chief legal officer of the agency, and the Attorney 
        General appropriately informed of the agency's 
        performance in implementing this section;
          [(3) recommend to the head of the agency such 
        adjustments to agency practices, policies, personnel, 
        and funding as may be necessary to improve its 
        implementation of this section;
          [(4) review and report to the Attorney General, 
        through the head of the agency, at such times and in 
        such formats as the Attorney General may direct, on the 
        agency's performance in implementing this section;
          [(5) facilitate public understanding of the purposes 
        of the statutory exemptions of this section by 
        including concise descriptions of the exemptions in 
        both the agency's handbook issued under subsection (g), 
        and the agency's annual report on this section, and by 
        providing an overview, where appropriate, of certain 
        general categories of agency records to which those 
        exemptions apply; and
          [(6) designate one or more FOIA Public Liaisons.]
  (h) The Office of Government Information Services.--
          (1) Establishment.--There is established the Office 
        of Government Information Services within the National 
        Archives and Records Administration. The head of the 
        Office is the Director of the Office of Government 
        Information Services.
          (2) Review of foia policy, procedure, and 
        compliance.--The Office of Government Information 
        Services shall--
                  (A) review policies and procedures of 
                agencies under this section;
                  (B) review compliance with this section by 
                agencies; and
                  (C) identify methods that improve compliance 
                under this section that may include--
                          (i) the timely processing of requests 
                        submitted to agencies under this 
                        section;
                          (ii) the system for assessing fees 
                        and fee waivers under this section; and
                          (iii) the use of any exemption under 
                        subsection (b); and
                  (D) review and provide guidance to agencies 
                on the use of fees and fee waivers.
          (3) Mediation services.--The Office of Government 
        Information Services shall offer mediation services to 
        resolve disputes between persons making requests under 
        this section and agencies as a non-exclusive 
        alternative to litigation and, at the discretion of the 
        Office, may issue advisory opinions if mediation has 
        not resolved the dispute.
          (4) Submission of report.--
                  (A) In general.--The Office of Government 
                Information Services shall not less than 
                annually submit to the committees described in 
                subparagraph (C) and the President a report on 
                the findings from the information reviewed and 
                identified under paragraph (2) and legislative 
                and regulatory recommendations to improve the 
                administration of this section.
                  (B) Electronic availability of reports.--The 
                Office shall make available any report 
                submitted under paragraph (A) in a publicly 
                accessible format.
                  (C) Congressional submission of report.--The 
                committees described in this subparagraph are 
                the following:
                          (i) The Committee on Oversight and 
                        Government Reform of the House of 
                        Representatives.
                          (ii) The Committees on Homeland 
                        Security and Governmental Affairs and 
                        the Judiciary of the Senate.
                  (D) Direct submission of report.--Any report 
                submitted under paragraph (A) shall be 
                submitted directly to the committees and the 
                President, without any requirement that any 
                officer or employee outside of the Office of 
                Government Information Services, including the 
                Archivist of the United States and the Director 
                of the Office of Management and Budget, review 
                such report.
          (5) Submission of additional information.--The 
        Director of the Office of Government Information 
        Services may submit additional information to Congress 
        and the President that the Director determines to be 
        appropriate.
          (6) Annual meeting required.--Not less than once a 
        year, the Office of Government Information Services 
        shall hold a meeting that is open to the public on the 
        review and reports by the Office and permit interested 
        persons to appear and present oral or written 
        statements at such meeting.
  (i) Government Accountability Office.--The Government 
Accountability Office shall--
          (1) conduct audits of administrative agencies on 
        compliance with and implementation of the requirements 
        of this section and issue reports detailing the results 
        of such audits;
          (2) catalog the number of exemptions under subsection 
        (b)(3) and agency use of such exemptions; and
          (3) review and prepare a report on the processing of 
        requests by agencies for information pertaining to an 
        entity that has received assistance under title I of 
        the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (12 
        U.S.C. 5211 et seq.) during any period in which the 
        Government owns or owned more than 50 percent of the 
        stock of such entity.
  (j) Chief FOIA Officer.--
          (1) Designation.--Each agency shall designate a Chief 
        FOIA Officer who shall be a senior official of such 
        agency (at the Assistant Secretary or equivalent 
        level).
          (2) Duties.--The Chief FOIA Officer of each agency 
        shall, subject to the authority of the head of the 
        agency--
                  (A) have agency-wide responsibility for 
                efficient and appropriate compliance with this 
                section;
                  (B) monitor implementation of this section 
                throughout the agency and keep the head of the 
                agency, the chief legal officer of the agency, 
                and the Attorney General appropriately informed 
                of the agency's performance in implementing 
                this section;
                  (C) recommend to the head of the agency such 
                adjustments to agency practices, policies, 
                personnel, and funding as may be necessary to 
                improve its implementation of this section;
                  (D) review and report to the Attorney 
                General, through the head of the agency, at 
                such times and in such formats as the Attorney 
                General may direct, on the agency's performance 
                in implementing this section;
                  (E) facilitate public understanding of the 
                purposes of the statutory exemptions of this 
                section by including concise descriptions of 
                the exemptions in both the agency's handbook 
                issued under subsection (g), and the agency's 
                annual report on this section, and by providing 
                an overview, where appropriate, of certain 
                general categories of agency records to which 
                those exemptions apply; and
                  (F) designate one or more FOIA Public 
                Liaisons.
          (3) Compliance review required.--The Chief FOIA 
        Officer of each agency shall--
                  (A) review, not less than annually, all 
                aspects of the agency's administration of this 
                section to ensure compliance with the 
                requirements of this section, including--
                          (i) agency regulations;
                          (ii) disclosure of records required 
                        under paragraphs (2), (8), and (9) of 
                        subsection (a);
                          (iii) assessment of fees and 
                        determination of eligibility for fee 
                        waivers;
                          (iv) the timely processing of 
                        requests for information under this 
                        section;
                          (v) the use of exemptions under 
                        subsection (b); and
                          (vi) dispute resolution services with 
                        the assistance of the Office of 
                        Government Information Services or the 
                        FOIA Public Liaison; and
                  (B) make recommendations as necessary to 
                improve agency practices and compliance with 
                this section.
  (k) Chief FOIA Officers Council.--
          (1) Establishment.--There is established in the 
        executive branch the Chief FOIA Officers Council (in 
        this subsection, referred to as the ``Council'').
          (2) Members.--The Council shall consist of the 
        following members:
                  (A) The Deputy Director for Management of the 
                Office of Management and Budget.
                  (B) The Director of the Office of Information 
                Policy at the Department of Justice.
                  (C) The Director of the Office of Government 
                Information Services at the National Archives 
                and Records Administration.
                  (D) The Chief FOIA Officer of each agency.
                  (E) Any other officer or employee of the 
                United States as designated by the Co-Chairs.
          (3) Co-chairs.--The Director of the Office of 
        Information Policy at the Department of Justice and the 
        Director of the Office of Government Information 
        Services at the National Archives and Records 
        Administration shall be the Co-Chairs of the Council.
          (4) Support services.--The Administrator of General 
        Services shall provide administrative and other support 
        for the Council.
          (5) Consultation.--In performing its duties, the 
        Council shall consult regularly with members of the 
        public who make requests under this section.
          (6) Duties.--The duties of the Council include the 
        following:
                  (A) Develop recommendations for increasing 
                compliance and efficiency under this section.
                  (B) Disseminate information about agency 
                experiences, ideas, best practices, and 
                innovative approaches related to this section.
                  (C) Identify, develop, and coordinate 
                initiatives to increase transparency and 
                compliance with this section.
                  (D) Promote the development and use of common 
                performance measures for agency compliance with 
                this section.
          (7) Meetings.--
                  (A) Regular meetings.--The Council shall meet 
                regularly and such meetings shall be open to 
                the public unless the Council determines to 
                close the meeting for reasons of national 
                security or to discuss information exempt under 
                subsection (b).
                  (B) Annual meetings.--Not less than once a 
                year, the Council shall hold a meeting that 
                shall be open to the public and permit 
                interested persons to appear and present oral 
                and written statements to the Council.
                  (C) Notice.--Not later than 10 business days 
                before a meeting of the Council, notice of such 
                meeting shall be published in the Federal 
                Register.
                  (D) Public availability of council records.--
                Except as provided in subsection (b), the 
                records, reports, transcripts, minutes, 
                appendixes, working papers, drafts, studies, 
                agenda, or other documents that were made 
                available to or prepared for or by the Council 
                shall be made publicly available.
                  (E) Minutes.--Detailed minutes of each 
                meeting of the Council shall be kept and shall 
                contain a record of the persons present, a 
                complete and accurate description of matters 
                discussed and conclusions reached, and copies 
                of all reports received, issued, or approved by 
                the Council.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (m) FOIA Web Site Required.--Not later than one year after 
the date of enactment of this subsection, the Office of 
Management and Budget shall ensure the existence and operation 
of a single Web site, accessible by the public at no cost to 
access, that allows the public to--
          (1) submit requests for records under subsection 
        (a)(3); and
          (2) receive automated information about the status of 
        a request under subsection (a)(7).

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