Federal Communications Law Journal

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52 Federal Communications Law Journal 21 (1999)


Congress drafted the Freedom of Information Act to ensure that the public would always be able to keep track of the events happening behind governmental agency doors. In an age of privatization of governmental services in the name of efficiency, the Act needs to be adapted to ensure that its original purpose remains sound. Thus far, courts have not kept pace with this purpose by interpreting agency and agency record under the Act too narrowly. This may very well result in government secrecy as services are farmed out to entities not covered under the Act. This Article analyzes the various approaches under the Freedom of Information Act and suggests that a test focusing on the public function of the entity or the nature of the information in its records, rather than their technical location or the attributes of the entity holding them will preserve congressional intent and comport with the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act.