OGIS Publishes Results of COVID-19 FOIA Website Review

Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) websites are more likely than not to be silent on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting agency FOIA processing. A majority of federal FOIA websites – 62.6 percent – reviewed by the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) in May and early June do not alert requesters to changes … Continue reading OGIS Publishes Results of COVID-19 FOIA Website Review

Nominations Open for 2020-2022 FOIA Advisory Committee

If you or someone you know have a passion for FOIA and a commitment to improving the FOIA process, please consider submitting a nomination for the 2020-22 term of the Federal FOIA Advisory Committee.  We are looking for a wide range of FOIA experts from both inside and outside of government. We seek, at a minimum:   … Continue reading Nominations Open for 2020-2022 FOIA Advisory Committee

COVID-19 and FOIA: DOJ Releases New Guidance

On May 28th, the Department of Justice, Office of Information Policy (OIP) posted Guidance for Agency FOIA Administration in Light of COVID-19 Impacts. Here are some highlights: Agencies’ legal obligations under the FOIA continue even as agencies are working during COVID-19. All of FOIA’s statutory time limits continue to apply during workforce adjustments. Agencies have … Continue reading COVID-19 and FOIA: DOJ Releases New Guidance

2018-2020 FOIA Advisory Committee Draft Final Report Available for Public Comment

Including the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in agency strategic plans, providing mandatory annual FOIA training, and briefing new senior leaders on their obligations and responsibilities under FOIA are among 22 recommendations in a draft final report from the third term of the FOIA Advisory Committee to the Archivist of the United States. The Committee … Continue reading 2018-2020 FOIA Advisory Committee Draft Final Report Available for Public Comment

The Importance of Preserving Pandemic Records

In a recent statement, Turning the threat of COVID-19 into an opportunity for greater support to documentary heritage, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognized that the COVID-19 pandemic, which many countries have already declared to be modern history’s gravest health emergency, will one day become a part of our shared history. In … Continue reading The Importance of Preserving Pandemic Records

May 12th Webinar: FOIA Requests for CDC COVID-19 Records

The COVID-19 pandemic — and the Federal government’s response to the outbreak — has resulted in a steep increase in FOIA requests submitted to agencies on the front lines of that response. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) received nearly the same number of requests in the first half of Fiscal Year (FY) … Continue reading May 12th Webinar: FOIA Requests for CDC COVID-19 Records

FOIA Advisory Committee Meets Virtually May 1

  The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Committee meets Friday May 1 and you are invited to join us — virtually! The Committee will discuss its report and consider recommendations from the Vision and Time/Volume subcommittees. The virtual meeting, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., is open to the public. Unlike previous FOIA Advisory … Continue reading FOIA Advisory Committee Meets Virtually May 1

Statement of the International Conference of Information Commissioners: “Access to Information in the context of a global pandemic”

The impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic brings unprecedented challenges for our society, both nationally and globally. The Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) has joined over three dozen of its colleagues worldwide to support the International Conference of Information Commissioners (ICIC) in its statement acknowledging the challenges public authorities face in the current pandemic … Continue reading Statement of the International Conference of Information Commissioners: “Access to Information in the context of a global pandemic”

The Technology Committee is Now Full

Several weeks ago we invited government Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) professionals with an interest in technology and innovation to consider volunteering their knowledge and talents to the Technology Committee of the Chief FOIA Officers (CFO) Council. To date, more than 20 FOIA professionals from a variety of federal agencies have expressed an interest, and … Continue reading The Technology Committee is Now Full

COVID-19 and FOIA: Observations and Useful Links

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of life in the United States, and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process is no exception. We will be sharing information in the coming weeks about how agencies are responding and providing links to resources that we hope will be useful to you.  Here are some … Continue reading COVID-19 and FOIA: Observations and Useful Links