Posted April 6, 2010
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a critical component of Open Government. We are committed to improved compliance and reform of FOIA as we develop our Open Government plans. Our three primary goals are to:
- Respond to FOIA requests as quickly and thoroughly as possible
- Reduce the backlog of FOIA requests
- Through transparency, improved communications, and dialogue with those seeking information from HHS and tools like data.gov, reduce the need for people to submit FOIA requests in the first place
HHS FOIA Assessment: Initial Findings Available
The FOIA Section of the HHS Open Government Plan contains the preliminary findings from a department-wide assessment of the FOIA process. This project, started in January 2010, will identify new tools, technologies, and possible systems changes that need to be made across the Department to improve our FOIA process.
The Department’s 2009 Annual FOIA Report Shows Improvement
The HHS 2009 Annual FOIA Report shows that the Department is making progress:
- For 2009, the backlog of outstanding requests has fallen 9 percent, from 19,249 in 2008 to 17,470 in 2009. We expect to do even better in 2010.
- For the first time, the Annual Report is available in multiple formats, including PDF (for printing), Excel and CSV (for analyzing in a spreadsheet), and in XML (for open format utilization).
More about FOIA at HHS
Each HHS Operating Division maintains a FOIA Requester Service Center (see links on the right) that process relevant FOIA requests. The Department's Chief FOIA Officer is Acting Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Dori Salcido.
For more information about FOIA at HHS, see our main HHS FOIA Page.