The Office of Management and Budget issued a memo to Federal agencies Tuesday, pushing them to make sure their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request systems work with the National FOIA Portal.

The memo, part of the implementation of the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, sets a deadline of May 10 for CFO Act agencies to hand in a plan to achieve full interoperability, with a goal of interoperability within two years and a hard deadline of August 2023. For smaller Federal agencies, the memo calls for interoperability “as soon as technically feasible.”

Agencies with a high volume of FOIA requests will be expected to use an API to connect their automated case management system with the National FOIA Portal, while small agencies will need to establish a formal, structured email to a designated email inbox. The duties of implementing the memo fall to each agency’s Chief FOIA Officer.

“Transparency and openness are foundational principles underlying the FOIA,” the memo states.

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MeriTalk Staff