Those of us in the FOIA and Privacy fields have long desired to “professionalize” the Government information access field. Traditionally, FOIA and Privacy professionals in the Federal government have had no consistent job titles or descriptions and no clear career path; instead, agencies have taken a patchwork approach, squeezing FOIA and Privacy professionals into sometimes … Continue reading Professionalizing the FOIA Profession: The 0306 Government Information Specialist Job Series
This post is from OGIS Deputy Director Karen Finnegan. “The only thing that stays the same is change.” Melissa Etheridge At OGIS, we specialize in change. The very existence of OGIS represents an innovative change to the FOIA administrative process. Our daily work involves changing the way people approach conflict and how they communicate with … Continue reading Changes
We at OGIS are always looking for ways to streamline our procedures and we’ve encouraged your input. This time is no different as we seek your support in ginning up some mojo for an OGIS routine use! Yes, an OGIS routine use, as in a Privacy Act system of records routine use. Without getting too technical (or … Continue reading Who has the mojo, baby?
The administrative appeal process is an integral part of FOIA. Federal agencies received almost 10,000 FOIA appeals in the year ending September 30, 2010. FOIA sets forth two requirements pertaining to the appeal process: (1) agencies must notify requesters of the right to appeal any adverse determination; and (2) agencies must make a determination with … Continue reading Got Appeals?
In the course of our work as the FOIA Ombudsman, we regularly hear from agencies and requesters about FOIA practices that work well. We also hear about practices that don’t work as well. Too often, such problems result in legal action by requesters. We have observed that the following agency practices can be “litigation invitations”: … Continue reading How to Invite a FOIA Lawsuit
As 2011 comes to a close, we at OGIS are taking some time to reflect on our second full year of operations. We are happy to report that we reached some milestones this year. Our outreach program continues to take root: we developed a 5-Step FOIA Dispute Resolution Process, which we routinely present in inter-agency … Continue reading 2011: A Look Back
This week, after a year in the works, OGIS launched our new website and case management system, the OGIS Access System (OAS). Our excitement over the completion of this process isn’t just sky high — we’re literally in the cloud. The new OAS will manage more effectively and efficiently the requests for assistance that FOIA … Continue reading OGIS on ‘Cloud Nine’
Since OGIS opened in 2009, we’ve noticed that some FOIA Public Liaisons (FPLs) are not entirely clear about their role. The job title, created by Executive Order 13392 in December 2005, was codified in the OPEN Government Act of 2007, (5 U.S.C. § 552 (a)(6)(B)(ii) and (l)). One provision says that FPL’s are responsible for … Continue reading That’s Not My Job… or Is It?
We’re pleased that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently proposed a new job series that would cover Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) professionals. OPM has asked Federal agencies to submit comments regarding the draft Position Classification for the proposed job series by October 31st. In a nutshell, OPM proposes an occupational series, GS-0306, titled … Continue reading OPM Seeks Agency Comment on New FOIA Job Series
After two years of providing mediation services and working to improve the FOIA process, it’s time for self examination. During the last two years we’ve focused on figuring out how to do what we do while we were doing it. Our customers and stakeholders have provided valuable feedback regarding how we’ve helped them and how … Continue reading Onward and Upward!