GSA's Draft Report on Freedom of Information Act Indexing and Publishing Practices

Gao ID: LCD-78-126A July 31, 1978

A General Services Administration (GSA) study of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) indexing and publishing practices in Federal Agencies was monitored. The report recommended that the oversight responsibility of the Department of Justice should be clarified and that either it or another appropriate agency should be assigned certain responsibilities; however, this recommendation had no addressee. Congress should consider amending the act to establish within the Department of Justice an oversight responsibility for administration of the act. The report recommended that changes be considered that would require publication of notices concerning the availability of FOIA indexes in the Federal Register and change the present requirement for quarterly publication of indexes to as often as necessary, at least annually. The report does not cite what should be changed, but earlier drafts stated that Congress should consider amending the FOIA. Publication of notices in the Federal Register could be required through regulation without amending the act, and consideration should be given to establishing an executive branch policy authorizing publication of quarterly index supplements, with provision for publication of new indexes as necessary. The Adminstrator's transmittal letter included with the report stated that the report did not represent the official position of the executive branch.

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