Category Archives: Alternative dispute resolution

FOIA and ADR: Will You Be My Valentine?

My name is Jean Whyte, and I serve as Director of the National Archives and Records Administration’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program.  I’ve been invited to write this guest post about the intersection of FOIA and ADR and why I … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Administative Dispute Resolution Act, Alternative dispute resolution, definitions and concepts, Mediation services, Ombudsman | 1 Comment

How to Invite a FOIA Lawsuit

In the course of our work as the FOIA Ombudsman, we regularly hear from agencies and requesters about FOIA practices that work well. We also hear about practices that don’t work as well. Too often, such problems result in legal … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, Best practices, definitions and concepts, FOIA Public Liaisons, Ombudsman, Plain Language | 5 Comments

A New Game Plan: Teamwork Really Works!

Throughout 2011, OGIS observed a recurring concept: Federal agencies are succeeding through internal collaboration. This “team approach” to government operations promotes efficiency, reduces redundancy, and helps an agency successfully meet its statutory mandate. One area where teamwork is particularly important … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, Best practices, Ombudsman, Team approach | 1 Comment

Updated OGIS Language for Agencies

As regular readers of this blog know, OGIS moved from College Park, MD, to Washington, D.C., one month ago. Our mailing address, email addresses and toll-free number remain the same, but our local telephone and fax numbers have changed. (For … Continue reading

Posted in About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, Best practices, Ombudsman | Leave a comment

Happy (Belated) Birthday OGIS!

We here at OGIS were so busy earlier in September that we missed a big one: OGIS’s second birthday. That’s saying something for a team that includes some talented bakers and chocolate aficionados. Two years ago, OGIS Director Miriam Nisbet … Continue reading

Posted in About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, Mediation services, Ombudsman | Leave a comment

OGIS Reaches Out – Way Out

For over a year now, we at OGIS have regularly presented dispute resolution skills training sessions to FOIA professionals at various agencies. It’s been a fun, exciting effort that has given us an opportunity to meet FOIA professionals from all … Continue reading

Posted in About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, OGIS events, Ombudsman, Training | Leave a comment

Announcing Dispute Resolution Skills Training for FOIA Professionals

Conventional wisdom holds that August is quiet in Washington, D.C. While we at OGIS cannot attest to that — it seems we are busier than ever this month — we suggest that August is a great time to learn something … Continue reading

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OGIS Case Study #1 – “I am pretty sure the Government has a file on me”

Many people believe that federal law enforcement agencies have some kind of investigatory file on them. The truth is that very few people have been investigated by an agency such as the FBI, but that doesn’t stop many people from … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, Mediation services, OGIS Case Study, Ombudsman, Privacy, Records Management | Leave a comment

Freedom of Information: Big in Japan (and Brazil and Spain…)

Those of us who live and breathe FOIA tend to stay pretty focused on the federal access law or, for those outside the Federal government, on a patchwork of U.S. state access laws. We may tend to overlook that there … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, FOIA around the world, Ombudsman

Setting Expectations

If you’ve called OGIS, had a case with us or read this blog, you’ve probably heard the mantra: “We’re from the government and we’re here to help!” We’ve heard from hundreds of people seeking assistance — on everything from the … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, Best practices, definitions and concepts, Mediation services, Ombudsman