FOIA Advisory Committee Organizes into Four Subcommittees

The following post is from Kimberlee Ried of NARA’s Museum Programs Division who is detailed to OGIS with FOIA Advisory Committee work. 

In its first meeting of the 2020-2022 term, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Committee drew from a presentation by the Chief FOIA Officers Council Technology Committee and ideas from previous Advisory Committee terms to organize itself into four subcommittees. 

Each subcommittee is headed by two co-chairs, one of whom is a federal employee, the other a representative from the requester community.  The subcommittees will do much of the work of the Committee, which consists of 20 FOIA experts — 10 government FOIA professionals and 10 requester community representatives appointed by Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero.  

The Classification Subcommittee will examine the impact of the security classification process on FOIA. Kristin Ellis of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and James Stocker of Trinity Washington University are co-chairs.

The Legislation Subcommittee will examine opportunities for recommendations pertaining to legislation. Co-chairs are Patricia Weth of the National Labor Relations Board, and Kel McClanahan of National Security Counselors.  

The Process Subcommittee will examine the FOIA administrative process to mitigate backlogs and minimize litigation. Linda Frye of the Social Security Administration and Michael Morisy of MuckRock co-chair this subcommittee. 

The Technology Subcommittee will examine technology, including implementation of the technology recommendations made from the 2016-2018 and 2018-2020 Committee terms. Co-chairs are Allyson Deitrick of the U.S. Department of Commerce and Jason Gart of History Associates Incorporated. 

The FOIA Advisory Committee, established in 2014, studies the federal FOIA landscape and advises on improvements to FOIA administration by all 15 Cabinet-level departments and 103 independent agencies. The 2018-2020 term of the Committee made 22 recommendations for improving the FOIA process. The transcript and minutes from the September 10, 2020 FOIA Advisory Committee meeting will be posted in the coming weeks on the OGIS FOIA Advisory Committee 2020-2022 portion of the website. And mark your calendars: the next FOIA Advisory Committee meeting is scheduled for December 10, 2020.