It would seem that the use of electronic records would simplify the FOIA process; if agencies don’t have to reproduce and redact paper, that’s got to be easier, right? In reality, electronic records raise lots of questions for FOIA programs. For instance:
- If a requester asks for electronic copies of paper records — requiring the agency to scan those records — can the agency charge duplication fees?
- If records are released on a CD, how much should the agency charge for the CD?
- Are there ways other than CDs (for example, email) to release electronic records?
- How can electronic records make the consultation and referral process easier?
We will discuss these questions and more at the next FOIA Requester Roundtable, “Providing Records in Electronic Formats.” Sponsored by OGIS and the Department of Justice’s Office of Information Policy (OIP), the meeting is from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday July 24 at the National Archives, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. in Washington, D.C., across from the Archives/Navy Memorial Metrorail station.
Interested? E-mail your name and phone number to OIP’s Training Officer or to OGIS. If you can’t make it in person, call-in information will be provided upon registration. Questions? Call OIP at 202-514-1010. We hope to see you there!