Category Archives: Best practices

FOIA: Spread the Word!

FOIA is everyone’s responsibility. This is a common refrain for FOIA processors and records managers, but we have observed that it can be a challenge to impress upon those outside the FOIA department that FOIA is their job, too. For … Continue reading

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OGIS’s Sunshine Week Wrap-Up

Whew! We at OGIS have caught our breath after a hectic Sunshine Week during which we joined folks from both the agency and requester communities in promoting the importance of open government and freedom of information. (Of course, these values … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Best practices, FOIA in the news, Legislation, OGIS events, OGIS's Reports, Ombudsman, Open Government, Sunshine Week 2013 | Leave a comment

Announcing OGIS’s 2012 Report

We are pleased to share OGIS’s 2012 report, Office of Government Information Services: Building a Bridge Between FOIA Requesters & Federal Agencies. We hope that you will read about our accomplishments over the past year and our thoughts for the … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, Best practices, definitions and concepts, Mediation services, OGIS's Reports, Ombudsman, Records Management, Sunshine Week 2013 | Leave a comment

Professionalizing the FOIA Profession: The 0306 Government Information Specialist Job Series

Those of us in the FOIA and Privacy fields have long desired to “professionalize” the Government information access field. Traditionally, FOIA and Privacy professionals in the Federal government have had no consistent job titles or descriptions and no clear career … Continue reading

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Navigating a Sea of Records

  Editor’s note: This guest post is from Wendy Schumacher, Ph.D., PMP. Wendy, thank you for sharing your story. I started my job as the FOIA Officer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) about a year after the … Continue reading

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Requesting Records Across Agencies

With 100 departments and agencies, the Executive Branch can feel downright massive sometimes. Although each of the 100 has a separate and distinct mission, and no doubt creates very different kinds of records, there is also some overlap in the … Continue reading

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Thinking about FOIA Libraries

On January 21, 2013, representatives of 12 agencies and several requester groups gathered to discuss online FOIA “libraries.” The Attorney General’s 2009 FOIA Memorandum encouraged agencies to post information online in advance of a formal request. Many agencies’ FOIA regulations … Continue reading

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Check out the next FOIA Requester Roundtable on FOIA Libraries

Did you know that agencies are required under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 USC § 552(a)(2), to make available to the public five categories of records: final opinions, including concurring and dissenting opinions and orders, made in adjudicated … Continue reading

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Dealing with Surplus in a Time of Scarcity: Reducing FOIA Backlogs

  There’s a great deal of pressure on agencies to reduce the number of FOIA requests in their backlogs. The FOIA community talks a lot about backlogs, but mostly in numbers, not in terms of how some agencies have succeeded … Continue reading

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Don’t shut your eyes to the importance of FOIA regulations

Freedom of Information Act regulations sound like a sure cure for insomnia, but if FOIA were a movie, their role would be a real sleeper. We at OGIS recognize that well-crafted FOIA regulations are key to an effective agency FOIA … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Best practices, definitions and concepts, FOIA in the news, Ombudsman, Plain Language, Regulations | Leave a comment