H.R. 867 (109th): OPEN Government Act of 2005

Feb 16, 2005 (109th Congress, 2005–2006)
Died (Referred to Committee)
See Instead:

S. 394 (same title)
Reported by Committee — Sep 21, 2006

Lamar Smith
Representative for Texas's 21st congressional district
Read Text »
Last Updated
Feb 16, 2005
14 pages
Related Bills
H.R. 1326 (110th) was a re-introduction of this bill in a later Congress.

Referred to Committee
Last Action: Mar 05, 2007

S. 394 (identical)

Reported by Committee
Last Action: Sep 21, 2006


This bill was introduced on February 16, 2005, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted.

Introduced Feb 16, 2005
Referred to Committee Feb 16, 2005
Full Title

To promote openness in Government by strengthening section 552 of title 5, United States Code (commonly referred to as the Freedom of Information Act), and for other purposes.


No summaries available.

31 cosponsors (27D, 4R) (show)

House Oversight and Government Reform

Government Operations

The committee chair determines whether a bill will move past the committee stage.

Primary Source

THOMAS.gov (The Library of Congress)

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H.R. stands for House of Representatives bill.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the president to become law.

The bill’s title was written by its sponsor.

GovTrack’s Bill Summary

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Library of Congress Summary

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

Openess Promotes Effectiveness in our National Government Act of 2005 or OPEN Government Act of 2005 - Amends the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to prohibit a Federal agency from denying the present fee status for a news media representative solely on the absence of institutional associations of the requester and requires consideration of the requester's prior publication history.
Requires an agency, if a requester has no prior publication history or current affiliation, to consider the requester's stated intent at the time the request is made to distribute information to a reasonably broad audience.
Provides that, for purposes of recovery of attorney fees and other litigation costs, a complainant has substantially prevailed if :
(1) the complainant has obtained a substantial part of its requested relief through a judicial or administrative order or an enforceable written agreement; or
(2) the complainant's pursuit of a nonfrivolous claim or defense has been a catalyst for a voluntary or unilateral change in position by the opposing party that provides a substantial part of the requested relief.
Directs the Attorney General to: (1) notify the Special Counsel of civil actions taken for arbitrary and capricious rejections of requests for agency records; and (2) annually submit reports on the number of such actions taken.
Provides for the commencement of the 20-day time limit within which agencies shall determine whether to comply with a request for agency records on the day in which the request is first received.
Requires agencies to establish: (1) a system to assign tracking numbers for requests for information; and (2) telephone or Internet service that provides the status of requests.
Prohibits applying FOIA section 552 provisions to matters that are specifically exempted from disclosure by a statute (other than open meetings under the Government in the Sunshine Act) that specifically cites this Act.
Establishes the Office of Government Information Services within the U.S. Administrative Conference to review section 552 policies and procedures by administrative agencies.
Requires the: (1) Comptroller General to annually report on implementation of provisions for the protection of voluntarily shared critical infrastructure information; and (2) Office of Personnel Management to report on personnel policies related to FOIA.

House Republican Conference Summary

The summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.

No summary available.

House Democratic Caucus Summary

The House Democratic Caucus does not provide summaries of bills.

So, yes, we display the House Republican Conference’s summaries when available even if we do not have a Democratic summary available. That’s because we feel it is better to give you as much information as possible, even if we cannot provide every viewpoint.

We’ll be looking for a source of summaries from the other side in the meanwhile.

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