Let Us Help You: Seeking an OGIS Assessment

Your agency letterhead may not be this awesome, but don't let that stop you from asking for an OGIS assessment. (NARA Identifier )

Your agency letterhead may not be this awesome, but don’t let that stop you from asking for an OGIS assessment. (NARA Identifier 571199)

Interested in an assessment of your agency’s FOIA program conducted by a team of FOIA subject-matter experts? Wonder how your agency can be added to the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) assessment calendar? Let us help with some sample language for the Agency officials or Chief FOIA Officer at your agency to use in a letter to OGIS Director James Holzer.

But first, a little about our agency assessment program. Our assessments are holistic reviews of a FOIA program in which we interview employees and officials of the agency, review FOIA request and appeal files, conduct an online survey of FOIA processors, and study FOIA litigation against the agency, among other activities. At the end of our assessment, we publish a report that highlights best practices and areas for improvement. Our recommendations center around management, technology and communications.

We are in the midst of our seventh assessment after launching the program within two offices of our own agency, the National Archives and Records Administration, and completing assessments at four Department of Homeland Security components.

Interested? Use this sample language to send a letter on your agency letterhead to Director Holzer:

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) program at [AGENCY/DEPARTMENT]. Specifically, I would like your Compliance Team’s assistance in improving our administration of FOIA by reviewing the program and providing us with a written report of the assessment results. I understand your reports focus on recommendations for improvement and observed best practices, and are designed to help agencies solve their biggest challenges.

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