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Days After Launch, Outside Source Offers Improved Access to Part of the New D.C. FOIA Portal

dcogcadmin | July 28, 2014 | Last modified: September 8, 2019

Coders outside government have already offered the public an updated version of part of the new D.C. FOIAXpress web portal, launched just days ago.

According to the Mayor’s announcement July 21, the public may now use the new portal to request records from most agencies under the D.C. Freedom of Information Act and also track agencies’ progress in response. In addition, another part of the portal allows all of the public to see records released to others in recent requests.

The Washington Post editorialized about the new system August 5, noting the inconsistent performance of DC agencies’ FOIA duties and praising the Mayor’s efforts to make it easier to get records as a “needed step in the right direction.”  Noting the problem of delays, the Post mildly said it hoped the new system will “make for more timely processing of FOIA requests, which has been an issue for the District government.” 

In fact, delay is huge: over a third of requests were answered late in 2103, the worst on-time performance record in years, according to the Open Government Coalition’s review of agency data submitted for the Mayor’s annual FOIA report.

At their own site, the outside coders say they have devised an easier way to offer public access to the released records. See what you think — here.