Thinking globally

Thirty-three information commissioners—a.k.a freedom of information ombudsmen—from 25 countries gathered April 21-23 for the 9th International Conference of Information Commissioners to discuss transparency issues and share successes and challenges. It was a great honor to represent OGIS at the conference, hosted by the Chilean Transparency Council, in Santiago, Chile. Among the themes of the conference, … Continue reading Thinking globally

OGIS Launches First Agency Assessment

We’re pleased to announce completion of our first assessment of an agency FOIA program, officially launching the expansion of our review program and helping us better fulfill our statutory mandate to review agency FOIA policies, procedures and compliance. 5 U.S.C. §§ 552 (h)(2)(A) and (B). The National Archives and Records Administration’s own Office of General … Continue reading OGIS Launches First Agency Assessment

FOIAonline Celebrates its Second Birthday

The same week we at OGIS celebrated our 5th birthday, we celebrated another important birthday—that of FOIAonline. An online portal aimed at expanding public access to information requested under FOIA, FOIAonline went live two years ago when five Federal agencies, including the Office of General Counsel at our parent agency, the National Archives and Records … Continue reading FOIAonline Celebrates its Second Birthday

Dancing Your Way Through Immigration Records

Interested in immigration records? You’re not alone. U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) is on track to receive about 140,000 FOIA requests in the year ending September 20, 2014. Top USCIS FOIA officials recently took time from overseeing records request processing to meet with requesters and FOIA professionals from other agencies, offering tips to requesters … Continue reading Dancing Your Way Through Immigration Records

USCIS Invites Requesters to Stakeholder Meeting

U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) processed a mind-numbing 138,523 FOIA requests in the year ending September 30, 2013. (That’s more than 11,000 requests a month and nearly 600 a day!) Wonder how the agency does it? Searching for best practices on submitting FOIA requests to USCIS for immigration records? Have feedback on how the … Continue reading USCIS Invites Requesters to Stakeholder Meeting

Guest Post: Catching Up with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

We welcome guest bloggers! The following post is from Government Information Specialist Mark H. Graff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission: At the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s FOIA, Privacy, and Information Collections branch, we’ve been looking for ways to streamline our internal processes and increase the use of technology to better respond to FOIA requests. … Continue reading Guest Post: Catching Up with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

OGIS Sets Up Shop at IRE

OGIS recently set up a pop-up shop, of sorts, on the West Coast offering one-on-one mini ombuds sessions with journalists and gathering ideas for improving the FOIA process. I’m pleased to have represented OGIS at the annual conference of the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving investigative reporting. The conference, … Continue reading OGIS Sets Up Shop at IRE