Public spaces at the National Archives are closed, but OGIS is pleased to continue operations online — including publication of our 2020 Annual Report for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. As OGIS Director Alina Semo notes in her message to readers, despite challenges faced in FY 2019, OGIS managed to reduce our backlog by 50 percent and handle and close all cases pending from FY 2017. Through it all, we have strongly advocated for a fair FOIA process that works for all.
Among our activities in FY 2019:
- Handling 4,649 requests for assistance — from both FOIA requesters and agencies.
- Teaching eight sessions of FOIA Dispute Resolution Skills for FOIA Professionals (seven agency-specific and one interagency).
- Leading and managing the 2018-2020 term of the FOIA Advisory Committee and its subcommittees: Records Management, Time/Volume, and Vision of FOIA.
- Completing three of seven recommendations made by the 2016-2018 term of the FOIA Advisory Committee to the Archivist of the United States, including advocating that access to Federal agency records is a requirement of the Federal procurement process for records-related information technology.
- Continuing our partnership with the National Archives and Records Administration’s Office of the Chief Records Officer (CRO) for the U.S. Government to ask government-wide FOIA questions, including questions about preparing documents for posting on agency FOIA websites and FOIA performance measures for non-FOIA professionals.
- Completing two assessments—one of an agency FOIA program (our 13th agency review) and one FOIA issue assessment.
- Reviewing proposed amendments to FOIA regulations by nine departments and agencies.
We hope you’ll read our report to learn more about these and other activities. Let us know what you think.