Thursday, October 12 is officially recognized by the Dispute Resolution Section of the American Bar Association (ABA) as Ombuds Day. This annual observation provides an opportunity to educate the public about the role of ombuds and the wide variety of services and value that ombuds provide. As the federal FOIA Ombudsman, OGIS resolves FOIA disputes, identifies methods to improve compliance with the statute, and educates our stakeholders about the FOIA process. Our goals — which closely align with National Archives and Records Administration goals of “Make Access Happen” and “Connect with Customers” — include:
- Providing quality ombudsman services to all.
- Providing dispute resolution services to FOIA requesters and federal agencies.
- Improving understanding of FOIA administration by reviewing FOIA policies and procedures.
- Identifying and communicating methods and strategies to improve FOIA compliance.
- Increasing our impact through outreach, education, and training.
The ABA has a wide variety of Ombuds Day resources available on its website, including a number of webinars that will explore how ombuds offices serve their customers.
The ABA is hosting a virtual signature event, “A Conversation with Thomas Zgambo” on October 12, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. ET. Dr. Zgambo, the Ombudsman for the International Monetary Fund, has served in the field for nearly 30 years with organizations including Polaroid, Coca-Cola, and the World Bank. The virtual event is free but registration is required.