Sunshine Week: It’s a Wrap!

National Archives Sunshine Week program panelists (left to right) Gulam Shakir, NARA; Bobak Talebian, Dept. of Justice; Eric Stein, Dept. of State; Pam Wright, NARA; and Abby Potter, Library of Congress discussing the intersection of artificial intelligence, FOIA and public access on Thursday, March 14. National Archives Photo by Susana Raab.

Another Sunshine Week is on the books, and OGIS participated in a variety of activities across the government. Below is a recap.

  • Monday March 11: The Department of Justice (DOJ) observed Sunshine Week with the presentation of its 2024 Sunshine Week FOIA Awards. Acting Associate Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer delivered keynote remarks. Watch the video of his remarks and the awards ceremony here. OGIS Director Alina M. Semo, in her capacity as co-chair of the Chief FOIA Officers (CFO) Council, co-presented, along with Department of Justice Office of Information Policy Director Bobak Talebian, the Award for Advancements in Government-Wide FOIA Administration, to Abioye Oyewole (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission) and Michael Bell (Department of Transportation), who co-chair the CFO Council Committee on Agency Collaboration and Innovation (COCACI).
  • Tuesday March 12: OGIS DIrector Semo and an OGIS staff member presented the keynote opening address to a joint event for FOIA professionals with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the State Department, as part of both agencies’ observance of Sunshine Week.
    • Also on Tuesday, an OGIS staff member represented OGIS at the Department of Education’s Sunshine Week Open House, part of weeklong programming by the Department. 
  • Thursday March 14: The National Archives celebrated Sunshine Week with a panel discussion. Deputy Archivist of the United States William J. Bosanko delivered keynote remarks before Pamela Wright, the National Archives and Records Administration’s Chief Innovation Officer, moderated a panel on Artificial Intelligence and Government Access. Watch the video here. After the panel, there was a viewing for in-person attendees of documents from the National Archives holdings related to the Freedom of Information, including the original FOIA statute, the e-FOIA amendments of 1996, and the Open Government Act of 2007, which created OGIS.
  • Friday, March 15: OGIS staff returned to the Department of Education to teach a session on negotiating with FOIA requesters.