Category Archives: Alternative dispute resolution

Updated OGIS Language for Agencies

As regular readers of this blog know, OGIS moved from College Park, MD, to Washington, D.C., one month ago. Our mailing address, email addresses and toll-free number remain the same, but our local telephone and fax numbers have changed. (For … Continue reading

Posted in About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, Best practices, Ombudsman

Happy (Belated) Birthday OGIS!

We here at OGIS were so busy earlier in September that we missed a big one: OGIS’s second birthday. That’s saying something for a team that includes some talented bakers and chocolate aficionados. Two years ago, OGIS Director Miriam Nisbet … Continue reading

Posted in About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, Mediation services, Ombudsman

OGIS Reaches Out – Way Out

For over a year now, we at OGIS have regularly presented dispute resolution skills training sessions to FOIA professionals at various agencies. It’s been a fun, exciting effort that has given us an opportunity to meet FOIA professionals from all … Continue reading

Posted in About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, OGIS events, Ombudsman, Training

Announcing Dispute Resolution Skills Training for FOIA Professionals

Conventional wisdom holds that August is quiet in Washington, D.C. While we at OGIS cannot attest to that — it seems we are busier than ever this month — we suggest that August is a great time to learn something … Continue reading

Posted in About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, OGIS events, Ombudsman, Training

OGIS Case Study #1 – “I am pretty sure the Government has a file on me”

Many people believe that federal law enforcement agencies have some kind of investigatory file on them. The truth is that very few people have been investigated by an agency such as the FBI, but that doesn’t stop many people from … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, Mediation services, OGIS Case Study, Ombudsman, Privacy, Records Management

Freedom of Information: Big in Japan (and Brazil and Spain…)

Those of us who live and breathe FOIA tend to stay pretty focused on the federal access law or, for those outside the Federal government, on a patchwork of U.S. state access laws. We may tend to overlook that there … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, FOIA around the world, Ombudsman

Setting Expectations

If you’ve called OGIS, had a case with us or read this blog, you’ve probably heard the mantra: “We’re from the government and we’re here to help!” We’ve heard from hundreds of people seeking assistance — on everything from the … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, Best practices, definitions and concepts, Mediation services, Ombudsman

OGIStance: “We’re from the government and we’re here to help!”

How often have you heard that statement? When you heard it, did you believe it? In the OPEN Government Act of 2007 Congress baked customer service into FOIA by creating OGIS to help the FOIA community resolve disputes and to … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, Best practices, definitions and concepts, Mediation services, OGIStance, Ombudsman, Open Government

What’s a FOIA Public Liaison?

As regular readers of this blog already know, OGIS was created when the 2007 OPEN Government Act amended the FOIA. However, the Act didn’t stop there — it also formalized the role of the FOIA Public Liaison (FPL). Specifically it … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, Best practices, definitions and concepts, Mediation services, Open Government, Training | 2 Comments

Talking Back to FOIA

Though an ombudsman has many roles, one of the most important is to serve as a listening ear for a larger organization.  As the FOIA ombuds office, OGIS listens to complaints regarding the federal FOIA process; however, as a new … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, definitions and concepts, Mediation services, Ombudsman, Open Government