Federal Agencies Ignoring Electronic Freedom Act

Mark Tapscott asks, “Did you know a law has been on the books for a decade requiring federal agencies to post on the Internet important documents such as agency opinions, FOIA guidance, policy statements and staff guidance? Would you be surprised to know that most federal agencies aren’t following the law?”

Yep and nope, respectively.

Tapscott gives good reasons why they should be following the law, though. Aside from the fact that it’s the law, of course.

FILED UNDER: Science & Technology, US Politics,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. And I’ll give you an understandable, if not terribly virtuous, reason why they don’t obey the law: Web page designers cost money and are perceived as contributing nothing to the mission. And when the law is as sweeping as this one appears to be, we’re talking about a lot of money.

    I’ll bet that when Congress passed the law, they didn’t simultaneously vote some extra funding to carry it out. (If I’m wrong, the picture becomes very different.)

  2. James Joyner says:

    Although, presumably, providing text links to various PDF files wouldn’t be terribly expensive. I do it several times a day without additional funding.

  3. Bithead says:

    You and I have those skills, James.
    They do not. Or at least, so their Union would have you think.