The FOIA process, like any relationship, depends on good communications. In the spirit of the season, OGIS offers Valentines greetings to FOIA stakeholders who demonstrate good communication skills every day.
- We love all hardworking FOIA professionals, but particularly those who pick up the phone to talk to requesters. While making a call is an investment of time, it is often the most efficient way to help a requester narrow the scope of their request.
- FOIA requesters who submit targeted, narrow requests have our heart. The more broadly a request is written, the longer it will take an agency to respond (including search and processing), so consider timeframe, format, keywords, and other limiting factors. If you are not sure how to limit the scope of your request, reach out to the agency’s FOIA Public Liaison.
- Good records managers are the “bee’s knees.” When records are maintained properly according to an updated schedule that is available to the public, requesters can make well-informed requests and FOIA processors can better locate the records they need.
- Agencies that provide realistic estimated dates of completion, we choo-choo-choose you. Delays are an unfortunate part of the FOIA process, but providing requesters with an estimated date of completion is not only good customer service, it’s the law.