Conventional wisdom holds that one strategy for improving the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process is to routinely publish agency records that might be of interest to the public. The term of art FOIA enthusiasts use for publishing agency information before anyone makes a FOIA request is proactive disclosure.
We at OGIS make it a priority to help the public better understand our work by making certain types of information available. Here is a brief guide to some proactive disclosures you can find on our website:
- Annual Reports –Our Annual Reports, published since 2010, include information about the volume and types of mediation cases we handled during the previous fiscal year, findings of our compliance program, and our outreach efforts.
- Director’s Calendar – We periodically publish our director’s calendar to help the public better understand our day-to-day operations and priorities.
- Congressional Testimony – We make all of our congressional testimony available on a single page, helping the public understand what we are saying to Congress.
- Statements and Executive Correspondence– We publish many of the official letters we send to other agencies so that the public can better understand our relationship with other agencies. We recently added a page linking to all of our correspondence with agencies about our request that agencies add a routine use to their Privacy Act/ FOIA system of records. The routine-use procedure makes it easier for agencies and OGIS to discuss FOIA requests that are the subject of requests for OGIS assistance.
- OGIS Activities Calendar – We publish and update a calendar of our planned activities for the fiscal year.
- Final Response Letters to Customers – We publish these letters to help the public better understand the types of cases OGIS assists with and the results. You can also download the posted letters by fiscal year.
- Mediation Program Performance Statistics – Each quarter, we publish the status and accomplishments of our mediation program. You can also download all of the metrics.