OGIS Officially Joins the International Access Community

OGIS is excited to report that it was recently welcomed as one of the first accredited official members of the International Conference of Information Commissioners (ICIC). The ICIC connects Information Commissioners, Ombudsmen and other bodies charged with overseeing the implementation of Access to Public Information legislation around the world. The ICIC’s values of Respect and … Continue reading OGIS Officially Joins the International Access Community

Join Us December 6 for the Next FOIA Advisory Committee Meeting!

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) processors and requesters who took a voluntary survey to help the Federal FOIA Advisory Committee better understand the challenges of navigating the FOIA process may wish to attend the next Committee meeting on December 6, 2019. The meeting, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the William G. McGowan Theater … Continue reading Join Us December 6 for the Next FOIA Advisory Committee Meeting!

Best Practices for Bettering Your FOIA Program

Agency FOIA professionals who are looking for ways to improve their FOIA programs may wish to consider 43 Best Practices from the 2016-2018 term of the FOIA Advisory Committee. The Best Practices, which offer a range of suggestions regarding accessibility, process management, talent management, technology, and proactive disclosures, are detailed in the Committee’s 2018 Final … Continue reading Best Practices for Bettering Your FOIA Program

Dispute Resolution Training for Agencies

Are you looking for a unique training opportunity for your agency’s FOIA staff, one that will improve communications within your FOIA program and with FOIA requesters? If so, now is a great time to schedule 2020 Dispute Resolution Training for FOIA Professionals for your agency. OGIS offers training sessions to individual agencies as our schedule … Continue reading Dispute Resolution Training for Agencies

OGIS Director Testifies Before House Subcommittee

OGIS Director Alina M. Semo recently testified before a House Subcommittee about eight OGIS assessments at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). OGIS, mandated by Congress to review and identify ways to improve FOIA compliance, reviewed FOIA programs at seven DHS components between September 2015 and February 2018. OGIS also assessed DHS’s compliance with the … Continue reading OGIS Director Testifies Before House Subcommittee

Department of Justice Releases New Guidance on FOIA Exemption 4

As you may have heard, on June 24, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court  issued an opinion on a case involving the “privileged or confidential” requirement of FOIA Exemption 4, Food Mktg Inst. v. Argus Leader Media, 139 S. Ct. 915 (June 24, 2019). Exemption 4 protects "trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from … Continue reading Department of Justice Releases New Guidance on FOIA Exemption 4

OGIS celebrates 10th anniversary

OGIS marked its 10th anniversary in September 2019. While aluminum or tin are the traditional gifts to commemorate a decade, we are celebrating our 10 years as the FOIA Ombudsman with cake–-on October 10, 2019, National Ombuds Day! We are pleased that our work has resulted in a culture shift in the FOIA landscape. Dispute … Continue reading OGIS celebrates 10th anniversary

Education FOIA Compliance Assessment Report Now Available

OGIS’s latest FOIA compliance assessment shows that opportunities exist for the Department of Education’s Chief FOIA Officer to fulfill the statutory duties of ensuring compliance with FOIA and recommending improvements to FOIA implementation. The Department of Education assessment, the 13th conducted by OGIS, makes seven actionable recommendations for strengthening Education’s FOIA program, which received 3,041 … Continue reading Education FOIA Compliance Assessment Report Now Available

Leveraging Technology in FOIA Searches

Searching for responsive records under FOIA works best when processors cross disciplines to collaborate with technology experts at their respective agencies. An OGIS assessment of the 2019 Chief FOIA Officer (CFO) reports shows that while a majority of agencies report using technology to facilitate efficiency in conducting searches, only about one in five agencies report … Continue reading Leveraging Technology in FOIA Searches

Join Us for the Next FOIA Advisory Committee Meeting!

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Committee has come full circle on several of its 2018 recommendations, including that the Chief FOIA Officers (CFO) Council study FOIA technology across agencies. The co-chairmen of the CFO Council Technology Subcommittee—Eric Stein of the State Department and Michael Sarich of the Veterans Health Administration—will report back to … Continue reading Join Us for the Next FOIA Advisory Committee Meeting!