Celebrate Sunshine Week Early with OGIS Assessment of CBP and Our Annual Report

OGIS releases its assessment of the Customs and Bureau Protection FOIA program. (NARA Identifier 7855144)

OGIS releases its assessment of the Customs and Bureau Protection FOIA program. (NARA Identifier 7855144)

In advance of next week’s Sunshine Week celebration, we are pleased to announce the release of our assessment of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) compliance at Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

As our report shows, CBP made a number of changes to its FOIA program during the last three years that have improved the agency’s compliance with the law.  As a result of instituting management controls, investing in technology, and improving communication, CBP reduced its backlog in Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 by 74 percent—from 34,307 requests to 9,024 requests. The changes greatly improved CBP’s responsiveness to requests: during FY 2015, CBP responded to most simple requests within the 20 days allowed under the law. These gains would not have been possible without support from CBP’s leadership and the efforts of CBP’s FOIA staff.

In addition to documenting the gains CBP’s FOIA program has made, the report makes recommendations to further improve CBP’s FOIA program.  You can find a checklist of all of our recommendations at the end of our report.

Report Cover 2016We are also happy to announce the release of OGIS’s FY 2015 Annual Report. This year’s report tells the story of the office’s 25-percent mediation caseload increase over FY 2014, and the first full year of OGIS’s Compliance Team. We hope you will check out the full report to learn more about our work and accomplishments.

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2 Responses to Celebrate Sunshine Week Early with OGIS Assessment of CBP and Our Annual Report

  1. John Valor says:

    I was very pleased to read this report, as a requester I can say that one of the most important improvements that CBP, or any other agency working with FOIA, should work on is communication, since cases are closed in a very harsh and definite way, without giving a chance to have some feedback from the requester or giving a little flexibility to avoid having to appeal. It is understandable that this would increase cost and time, but if it yields positive results, then it’s worth it.

  2. Pingback: CBP Takes Additional Steps to Improve its FOIA Program | FOIA Ombudsman

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