State Rep. Julie Alexander today introduced legislation requiring state departments to notify the Legislature and governor when a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request is not fulfilled within 15 days of the initial request.
“The goal is to allow the Legislature to better execute its oversight responsibility and take a pulse of the state government’s responsiveness to FOIA requests,” said Alexander of Hanover. “Even if they are just seeking information from a department, we need to ensure our taxpayers are receiving all of the information they request in a timely manner. Creating ways to continue holding state agencies and departments accountable is one way of making sure this happens.”
Under Alexander’s plan, the governor, speaker of the House, Senate and House majority and minority leaders, appropriation chairs as well as the oversight committee chairs, must be notified once the 15-day period has expired. The measure to increase transparency comes during Sunshine Week, which celebrates the importance of open government and freedom of information.
House Bill 5713 now moves to the House Oversight Committee for consideration.