Today Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) proposed the "FFC FOIA Transparency" amendment. It was adopted and included in H.R. 3309, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Reform Act of 2012. Diaz-Balart's amendment would require the FCC to implement new policies and practices to promote greater public disclosure of how the agency handles the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") requests.
"My amendment was in response to overwhelming data demonstrating the FCC's apparent lack of transparency and openness with the American people. In FY 2011, the FCC denied more than 46% of the FOIA requests it processed, compared to about 7% across the entire federal government.
"President Obama and Chairman Genachowski have publicly stated that they will be the most open and transparent administration in history, which is a goal I think we all share. My amendment will provide accountability and shed light on controversies like the one dealing with LightSquared, which appears to have political ties.
"Requiring the FCC to take additional steps will help bring the agency in line with its responsibilities for openness, transparency, and public disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. More importantly, these steps will give the American public confidence that the FCC is responsive to requests made by citizens and is in fact sharing information the public is entitled to receive."