Category Archives: Best practices

(FOIA) Appeal is in the Eye of the Beholder

It’s easy for requesters and agencies to agree that administrative appeals are an important part of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process. It’s not as easy for agencies and requesters to agree on what warrants an appeal. FOIA requires … Continue reading

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Let’s Talk About Estimated Dates of Completion

In 2007 Congress added a provision into the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that requires agencies to provide a requester with an estimated date by which the agency expects to  complete work on a request, when the requester asks for … Continue reading

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Let’s Make It Easier for Requesters to Use the FOIA Process

Agency Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regulations are one of the most important resources available to those requesting information from the federal government. As we’ve mentioned in the past, agency FOIA regulations are essentially the rule book the agency uses … Continue reading

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Let’s Keep the Sun Shining All Year Long

Another Sunshine Week is in the history books. As always, the celebrations served as a powerful reminder about the importance of open government laws like the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and what we can all do to open the … Continue reading

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Record Keeping for FOIA Requesters 101

Here at OGIS, we love good record keeping practices. Not only are we housed within the National Records and Archives Administration (NARA), which has responsibility for setting the federal government’s record keeping policies, we also know that strong agency record … Continue reading

Posted in Best practices, Records Management, Requests and appeals | 1 Comment

Dancing Your Way Through Immigration Records

Interested in immigration records? You’re not alone. U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) is on track to receive about 140,000 FOIA requests in the year ending September 20, 2014. Top USCIS FOIA officials recently took time from overseeing records request … Continue reading

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USCIS Invites Requesters to Stakeholder Meeting

U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) processed a mind-numbing 138,523 FOIA requests in the year ending September 30, 2013. (That’s more than 11,000 requests a month and nearly 600 a day!) Wonder how the agency does it? Searching for best … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Best practices, Customer service, Immigration records, OGIS events, Ombudsman | Leave a comment

Guest Post: Catching Up with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

We welcome guest bloggers! The following post is from Government Information Specialist Mark H. Graff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission: At the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s FOIA, Privacy, and Information Collections branch, we’ve been looking for ways to streamline … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Best practices, Customer service, Electronic records, Guest post, Ombudsman, Records Management, Team approach | Leave a comment

Upcoming OGIS Training Session: Dispute Resolution Skills for FOIA Professionals

Do you find yourself locked in disputes with FOIA requesters (or agency colleagues)? Would you like to learn constructive ways to resolve or avoid disputes in the future? OGIS will present a training session designed to help FOIA professionals develop … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, Best practices, Customer service, OGIS events, Ombudsman, Training | 1 Comment

Improving FOIA Regulations: We Need Your Help!

Developing a common FOIA regulation is one of the commitments of the second Open Government National Action Plan to modernize FOIA. Agency FOIA professionals and regulatory specialists interested in what a common FOIA regulation might look like are invited to … Continue reading

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