Category Archives: About FOIA

Introducing FOIA to a New Generation of Requesters

In October 2015, the White House released the Third U.S. Government National Action Plan. While NAP 3.0 includes a number of useful commitments from the National Archives, we are particularly excited about OGIS’s commitment to develop curriculum tools to introduce … Continue reading

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FOIA Improvement: Making It Easier to Help FOIA Requesters

Note: This entry is another in our series of occasional blog posts providing updates on our efforts to implement new provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) signed into law by President Obama on June 30, 2016. As we … Continue reading

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FOIA Improvement: Informing Requesters of OGIS Services

Note: Last week President Obama signed into law the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, locking many of the Administration’s openness policies and initiatives into the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), including advancing open government and highlighting the importance of OGIS … Continue reading

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Game of Thrones FOIA Requesters Face “Stark” Reality

It looks like FOIA requesters won’t be able to use their favorite access law to find out what really happened to Jon Snow. Last week the #FOIA Twittersphere was buzzing with news that an enterprising reporter had filed an unexpected … Continue reading

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New Year’s Message from the FOIA Ombudsman

“Change” was 2015’s word of the year for the FOIA Ombudsman. In a year of great change for OGIS, I may have been the most obvious one: I took over as the office’s second Director in August 2015. When I … Continue reading

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The Appeal of the Appeal Letter

While the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires agencies to notify requesters of the legal reasoning for upholding either all or part of an initial denial, the statute gives agencies very little—well, actually, no—additional guidance about what should be in … Continue reading

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Smart Solutions to FOIA Problems

We have learned through both our mediation services and agency assessment programs that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to administering a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) program. Agencies process different kinds of requests for vastly different records, and each agency … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, Best practices, Customer service, National Archives and Records Administration, Review | 1 Comment

Compliance Review of Coast Guard FOIA Program Now Available

Our assessment of the FOIA program at the United States Coast Guard is now available. The Coast Guard’s FOIA process is decentralized, meaning that requests received in the nine districts and more than 1,200 units are processed by those districts … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, Best practices, Review | 1 Comment

FOIA Gets an Online Makeover for its 49th Birthday!

Just days after FOIA celebrated its 49th birthday on July 4, the Department of Justice’s Office of Information Policy (OIP) announced a pilot project aimed at improving government transparency by making almost all records released under the Freedom of Information Act … Continue reading

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Where Can I Get Basic FOIA Facts?

A little over a month ago, 18F—the digital services shop at the General Services Administration that’s modeled after tech-sector start-ups—released openFOIA. This website gives requesters a central location to learn how to make Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, FOIAOnline, Open Government | 3 Comments