The 1966 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) established the public's right of access to government information, on the basis of openness and accountability. The 1996 Electronic Freedom of Information Act (e-FOIA) Amendments extended these principles to include electronic access to information. Under the act, the Department of Justice provides implementing guidance to agencies. In addition, agencies report annually to Justice on their FOIA operations. GAO was asked to determine, among other things, (1) agencies' progress in improving their timeliness in responding to requests for information and (2) the actions Justice has taken on previous GAO recommendations (GAO-01-378, Mar. 16, 2001) to improve data quality in annual reports and on-line availability of government information.
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