Category Archives: Mediation services

Difficult Conversations, Part 1: Interests vs. Positions

As part of providing mediation services to resolve FOIA disputes, we OGIS staffers regularly have conversations that can be characterized as “difficult.” We listen to FOIA requesters who are furious about delays or denials. We also hear from agency FOIA … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, Best practices, definitions and concepts, Fees, Mediation services, Ombudsman | 3 Comments

Striving for Perfect Pitch: OGIS and Agencies’ Administrative Processes

Since opening in late 2009, we’ve received requests for assistance from requesters and agencies at every stage in the FOIA process. We’ve heard from requesters planning to sue within days of contacting us and we have heard from agencies asking … Continue reading

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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

OGIS on ‘Cloud Nine’

This week, after a year in the works, OGIS launched our new website and case management system, the OGIS Access System (OAS). Our excitement over the completion of this process isn’t just sky high — we’re literally in the cloud. … Continue reading

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That’s Not My Job… or Is It?

Since OGIS opened in 2009, we’ve noticed that some FOIA Public Liaisons (FPLs) are not entirely clear about their role. The job title, created by Executive Order 13392 in December 2005, was codified in the OPEN Government Act of 2007, … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Best practices, definitions and concepts, FOIA Public Liaisons, Mediation services, Open Government | 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

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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

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

OGIStance: “We’re from the government and we’re here to help!”

How often have you heard that statement? When you heard it, did you believe it? In the OPEN Government Act of 2007 Congress baked customer service into FOIA by creating OGIS to help the FOIA community resolve disputes and to … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, Best practices, definitions and concepts, Mediation services, OGIStance, Ombudsman, Open Government | Leave a comment

What’s a FOIA Public Liaison?

As regular readers of this blog already know, OGIS was created when the 2007 OPEN Government Act amended the FOIA. However, the Act didn’t stop there — it also formalized the role of the FOIA Public Liaison (FPL). Specifically it … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, Best practices, definitions and concepts, Mediation services, Open Government, Training | Leave a comment