We’re happy to announce the release of our assessment of the FOIA program at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is now public. As our regular blog readers may know, the assessment of FEMA is one of six compliance reports that we are working on and will publish in the coming months.
OGIS’s report includes a number of observations about FEMA’s FOIA program, including the agency’s best practices. Our report also includes a number of recommendations to improve the FEMA FOIA program. A few of these recommendations are:
- Track volume of records processed and use volume as a management and oversight control tool
- Create a triage process that queues complex and simple requests based on the number of responsive pages or the topic of the request
- Overhaul the agency’s FOIA website to help reduce the office’s administrative burden and increase requester knowledge about FOIA
- Create a policy or procedure to regularly identify records to be posted to the FEMA FOIA website
- Communicate regularly with requesters to update them on estimated dates of completion, status in the queue, and ask for change in address, if applicable
Please download our report to see all of our observations and recommendations.