Today we present an interview with Roger Andoh, FOIA Director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a member of the 2020-2022 term of the FOIA Advisory Committee. This is part of a series of posts on the Committee, whose members are FOIA experts from inside and outside of government, and who are appointed by the Archivist of the United States.
Why did you seek to serve on the FOIA Advisory Committee?
I believe that I have a lot to offer the Committee because of the breadth of my experience having worked in a leadership role for three federal agencies: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, now the CDC. On a personal note, serving on the Committee was on my FOIA bucket list. Now I can check that box.
What do you hope to accomplish?
I hope that by the end of my term that more agencies would provide alternative processes for first-party requesters to obtain information about themselves without having to submit a FOIA request.
What is FOIA’s biggest challenge?
The impact of COVID-19 on the ability of Federal agencies to respond timely to the increased volume of FOIA requests within constraints of underfunded and understaffed FOIA programs, and lack of technology to improve FOIA administration.
Tell us about your favorite FOIA moment.
My appointment by the Archivist of the United States David Ferriero to serve on the FOIA Advisory Committee 2020-2022 term.