Category Archives: Best practices

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

Posted in Best practices, Open Government, Sunshine Week 2015 | Leave a comment

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

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Best practices, Immigration records | Leave a comment

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

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Best practices, FOIA Public Liaisons, OGIS events, Ombudsman, Open Government | Leave a comment

Customer Service: it’s a Smart Practice—and it’s the Law!

Our last post offers some practical tips for FOIA professionals wishing to incorporate alternative dispute resolution into the FOIA process. We picked up more good ideas later in the American Society of Access Professionals (ASAP) 7th Annual National Training Conference … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, Best practices, Customer service, FOIA Public Liaisons, Mediation services, Ombudsman, Plain Language | Leave a comment

FOIA and Dispute Resolution: Voices from the Field

This year’s American Society of Access Professionals (ASAP) Annual Training Conference included a panel titled “FOIA and Dispute Resolution.” The panel included Kathy Ray from the Department of Transportation and Brad Heath, a USA Today reporter and frequent FOIA requester. … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, Best practices, FOIA Public Liaisons, Mediation services, OGIS events, Ombudsman, Team approach | Leave a comment

Getting Ready for Sunshine Week

Sunshine Week is less than six weeks away! Agencies, what are you doing to prepare? Last year, Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero sent a message during Sunshine Week to National Archives’ staff reminding them that FOIA is everyone’s … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Best practices, Ombudsman, Open Government, Sunshine Week 2014 | 1 Comment