OGIS Thanks Volunteers During National Volunteer Week

Thanks Brass Family, National Archives Identifier 165318036.

This week, April 21-27, is National Volunteer Week. Established in 1974, National Volunteer Week is an opportunity to highlight the volunteers who work to transform society and the world. Today we recognize the volunteers who make up two groups that strive to improve the federal FOIA process: the FOIA Advisory Committee and the Chief FOIA Officers Council. 

The FOIA Advisory Committee was established in 2014 in accordance with the U.S. Second Open Government National Action Plan to foster dialog between the Administration and the requester community, solicit public comments, and develop consensus recommendations for improving FOIA administration and proactive disclosures. The Committee reports to the Archivist of the United States, Dr. Colleen Shogan, and is chaired by OGIS Director Alina M. Semo. OGIS staff provides administrative and logistical support. The Committee’s members, from both inside and outside the government, volunteer significant time to fulfill the Committee’s mandate. For the 2022-2024 term we want to say thank you to: Jason R. Baron, Paul Chalmers, Carmen A. Collins, David Cuillier, Allyson Deitrick, Gorka Garcia-Malene, Alex Howard, Michael Heise, Stefanie Jewett, Gbemende Johnson, Adam Marshall, Luke Nichter, Catrina Pavlik-Keenan, Tom Susman, Bobby Talebian, Eira Tansey, Benjamin Tingo, and Patricia Weth. We also wish to thank Ginger Quintero-McCall and Lauren Harper who served on the Committee in 2022-2023 and 2023-2024, respectively.  Thank you all for bringing your passion for FOIA as you volunteer your time to make the process better for all. 

The Chief FOIA Officers Council (CFOC), co-chaired by the directors of OGIS and the Department of Justice Office of Information Policy (OIP), works to develop recommendations for increasing FOIA compliance and efficiency; disseminating information about agency experiences, ideas, best practices, and innovative approaches related to FOIA; coordinates initiatives to increase transparency and FOIA compliance; and works toward promoting common performance measures for agency compliance with the FOIA. The FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 created the Council, made up entirely of government members. Within the Council we want to say thank you to: the Co-Chairs of the Committee on Cross-Agency Collaboration and Innovation, Mike Bell and Abi Oyewole, and the Co-Chairs of the Technology Committee, Michael Sarich and Eric Stein, as well as the numerous FOIA professionals who lead the subcommittees and working groups and the many Committee participants.

These very busy FOIA professionals are to be commended for committing their valuable time to improve the administration of the FOIA throughout the federal government. OGIS appreciates all of our volunteers as we could not accomplish our goals without this valued assistance.