FOIA Advisory Committee Set to Vote on Final Report and Recommendations on April 17th

FOIA Act Advisory Committee Meeting
Members of the FOIA advisory committee brainstorm ideas during the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) advisory committee meeting at the National Archives in Washington, DC, on July 21, 2016. NARA photo by Brogan Jackson.

On Tuesday, April 17th, the FOIA Advisory Committee will wrap up its current two-year term and vote on its Final Report and Recommendations. As regular readers of our blog know, during this term the FOIA Advisory Committee examined specific areas where federal agencies could take action and implement initiatives to improve proactive disclosures, FOIA searches, and the efficient use of agency FOIA resources.

During the Committee’s January 16th, 2018 meeting, the Committee unanimously approved several recommendations, including best practices that agencies can use to improve the administration of FOIA. A draft of the Committee’s Final Report and Recommendations is currently available on the Committee’s Meetings page. The Meetings page also includes links to register to attend the meeting (via EventBrite) and a draft meeting agenda.

We are happy to announce that the Archivist of the United States intends to renew the FOIA Advisory Committee’s Charter for a new two-year term. If you are interested in self-nominating or nominating someone else for the Committee’s 2018-2020 term, be sure to follow us on Twitter or check back on this blog for updates on nomination requirements and deadlines.

One thought on “FOIA Advisory Committee Set to Vote on Final Report and Recommendations on April 17th

  1. After the disappointment which was the final meeting, I’m almost surprised about the charter renewal. Melanie Ann Pustay put on quite a show, very not subtly announcing her opinion that the Committee is pointless and duplicative and that DOJ should have be at the head of everyone’s table. No one was buying it (not even Ginger McCall, which says a lot), and things got epically cringe-worthy when Ms. Pustay repeatedly [repeatedly] [repeatedly…] insisted that everyone wasn’t understanding her despite the fact that everyone clearly understood her – they simply disagreed with her. EVERYONE. STRONGLY. She couldn’t fathom that possibility, and as a result wasted a tremendous amount of time looking foolish and selfish, loudly repeating herself while people tried to rephrase their disagreement with her ad infinitum so she might get it.

    Then there was the whole inability to reach consensus on whether it was a best practice for agencies to NOT take things down from their websites (yes, there was nuance, I know), and the ridiculously watered-down versions of nearly everything else they had ried to accomplish. Hell, the Committee couldn’t even agree to vote on things they had already agreed on!

    Thank you to the people from the requester community who served on the Committee this round. I don’t know how you put up with your [theoretically not, but practically yes] opponents. (*Hat tip to the OGIS rep, though. She seemed cool.)


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