Category Archives: Plain Language

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

Upcoming OGIS Training Session: Developing Dispute Resolution Skills

Do you find yourself flummoxed when faced with an angry FOIA requester? Do you regularly take “no” for an answer from your agency’s program people? We can help! OGIS will present a training session designed to help FOIA professionals develop … 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

FOIA Letters and Plain Writing

This is an excerpt from an actual FOIA appeal response letter: Dear [name redacted], Reference is made to your letter to the [agency]…regarding the above referenced file. Through your letter you appeal the determination made…that certain records responsive to your … Continue reading

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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

More on Plain Writing

We at OGIS have a serious case of plain writing fever. As you read on the FOIA Ombudsman a few weeks ago, the Plain Writing Act, signed in October, goes into effect this fall. We see this as unqualified good … Continue reading

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Hold the alphabet soup, please.

Government-speak — with its acronyms, abbreviations and general jargon — can make anyone’s head spin. Can the DoD IDA get trained on FOIA with CBT? Will the EPA FPL share an MOU with OGIS?  OMG, it’s ridiculous enough to make … Continue reading

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