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With five months left in office, Vince Gray‘s office says they’ve made it easier to get records from them and future administrations with an updated Freedom of Information Act website.

Earlier open records requests played out mostly over email, but the new system prompts users to create an account and submit their requests through an online form. FOIA requests to the D.C. Council aren’t handled through the site.

Setting up the FOIAXpress software cost the District $274,337, according to Gray spokeswoman Doxie McCoy.

Probably of most interest on the new site to LL’s readers—-and a matter of some concern to LL—-is the FOIA Reading Room. According to McCoy, the site will publish every FOIA response that the executive branch produces.

Update, 4:20 p.m.: Or maybe not! McCoy tells LL that the website will only post “frequently requested public records,” not every FOIA response. That would seem to be at odds with some of the documents already on the site (i.e. a summary of senior citizen injuries caused by falls) but maybe LL is underestimating the public’s thirst for knowledge.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery