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
As in past years, we at the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) were too busy to celebrate our birthday on September 9. Instead, we marked our 5th year on October 31 with representatives from the requester and agency communities as well as House and Senate staff of the committees that helped create and now … Continue reading Celebrating OGIS’s First Five Years
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
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
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 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
Expanded oversight of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process, increased proactive disclosure, and reforming—or perhaps eliminating—fees emerged as top priorities of the FOIA Advisory Committee during its inaugural meeting June 24. The committee—comprised of 10 government members and 10 non-governmental members with considerable FOIA expertise—is mandated in the second Open Government National … Continue reading FOIA Advisory Committee begins setting priorities
Developing a common FOIA regulation is one of the commitments of the second Open Government National Action Plan to modernize FOIA. Agency FOIA professionals and regulatory specialists interested in what a common FOIA regulation might look like are invited to a meeting that will kick off the interagency process of developing the regulation. The meeting … Continue reading Improving FOIA Regulations: We Need Your Help!
Our last post offers some practical tips for FOIA professionals wishing to incorporate alternative dispute resolution into the FOIA process. We picked up more good ideas later in the American Society of Access Professionals (ASAP) 7th Annual National Training Conference during a session titled “Customer Service—It’s the Law!” The session, which included FOIA professionals Jay … Continue reading Customer Service: it’s a Smart Practice—and it’s the Law!
Quick FOIA quiz: Is the White House subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)? Yes. And no. It depends on the function of a particular White House office. Offices within the Executive Office of the President that “wield … substantial authority independent of the President” are subject to FOIA, the Court of Appeals for … Continue reading The 411 on FOIA & the White House