Last week staff from OGIS attended and presented two sessions at the annual Council on Government Ethics Laws (COGEL) conference, held in Kansas City, MO. Our presentations included a panel on best practices regarding FOIA compliance – OGIS staff highlighted the value of training FOIA professionals to understand the FOIA itself as well as the importance of clear communications with FOIA requesters. OGIS also participated in a panel discussing significant litigation and legislation by providing an overview of federal court case decisions this past year in relation to the application of FOIA exemptions.
Other COGEL session highlights included topics on campaign finance reform, ethics compliance, elections, and lobbying. The COGEL conference brings together a mix of ethics and freedom of information professionals representing local, state, and federal governments from the United States and Canada each year to exchange ideas and information. Next year’s COGEL conference will be held in Los Angeles, CA.