Good but Not Great: Improving Access to Public Records under the D.C. Freedom of Information Act
Margaret B. Kwoka
University of Denver Sturm College of Law
George Washington University - Law School; Equal Justice Works
University of the District of Columbia Law, Vol. 13 No. 2, Summer 2010
The District of Columbia’s Freedom of Information Act was enacted to ensure transparency and accountability in the city’s government. This Article describes various ways in which the Act has failed to live up to its fullest potential, including the types of difficulties encountered by the public and the media when seeking government records. It then proposes a number of concrete reforms that would improve the functioning of the District’s government records access apparatus, including establishing of an independent agency with oversight authority, training on information access, streamlining and expediting the records request process, encouraging public use of the law by strengthening the attorneys’ fees provision, and increasing the amount of affirmative disclosure of government records.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 48
Keywords: FOIA, Government Transparency, Attorneys’ Fees, Freedom of Information Act
Date posted: September 15, 2011
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