7/3/16 – The Washington Post
By Editorial Board
THE PRINCIPLE of holding government to account is at the bedrock of U.S. democracy, and information about government decisions is essential for that accountability. The Freedom of Information Act, although not something every citizen comes in contact with, remains a vital tool for keeping government open and honest. While not perfect — not every request results in disclosure of information or documents — it at least offers a law-based process for citizens to seek information from the powerful. Does a citizen in a place like China or Russia have such a chance to pull aside the curtains of secrecy with a simple letter? No.
With bipartisan backing, Congress recently approved the first update to the Freedom of Information Act since 2007, and President Obama signed the bill Thursday. It will not resolve many of the backlogs and frustrations, but it contains important improvements.