The second category of amendments is designed to address the basic way FOIA functions. This includes requiring public bodies to maintain a log of all FOIA requests sent to them within the last year, to post online a FOIA coordinator’s contact information and to automatically publish online a year’s worth of the most recent requests and responses.
These amendments also eliminate language that too many public bodies abuse to avoid responding to a FOIA request. The original purpose of this language was to prevent public bodies from being forced to compile information from multiple sources and create a new record to fulfill a request. But this provision has been used to argue that governments need not gather multiple records at all. The amended language clarifies this requirement and closes that loophole.
Apart from these changes, the remaining amendments are primarily ministerial. The changes establish electronic production of records as the default method of production, while still giving requestors the option to choose alternative production. Another noteworthy amendment makes clear that the Senate and House FOIA coordinators are appointed by the leadership of each body.