Setting Expectations in Extraordinary Times

We at the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) hear you loud and clear! The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging FOIA professionals and requesters alike in unprecedented ways. Amid all the uncertainty, one thing is certain: response times are likely to increase. It is more important than ever to keep the lines of communication open. One … Continue reading Setting Expectations in Extraordinary Times

New Technology Committee Members Needed

If you are a government Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) professional with an interest in technology and innovation, we need you! In response to a recommendation from the 2016-2018 term of the FOIA Advisory Committee, the Archivist of the United States proposed that the Chief FOIA Officers (CFO) Council partner with the Chief Information Officer … Continue reading New Technology Committee Members Needed

Assessing FOIA Reading Rooms

The following post is written by Meredith Doviak, our National Archives colleague who is helping us assess methods agencies use to prepare documents for posting on agency FOIA reading rooms. In the decades since Congress amended FOIA in 1996 to expand the role of the agency FOIA reading room, the expectations and use of Federal … Continue reading Assessing FOIA Reading Rooms

Chief FOIA Officers Council’s Technology Committee Releases Best Practices and Recommendations

Eagle Release During Migratory Bird Day 2005 (National Archives ID: 166690378) Looking for ways to bolster the use of technology within the FOIA process? Check out a report from the Technology Committee (Committee) of the Chief FOIA Officers Council (Council) to the Council Co-Chairs that discusses FOIA Information Technology (IT) best practices and recommendations. In … Continue reading Chief FOIA Officers Council’s Technology Committee Releases Best Practices and Recommendations

USCIS demos open-source code system

Are you an agency FOIA professional interested in developing an automated processing system? U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invites you to a two-hour demonstration of its FOIA processing system at 1:30 p.m. EST Wednesday February 12th. The demonstration will take place at the USCIS Washington, DC office at 111 Massachusetts Avenue, NW as well … Continue reading USCIS demos open-source code system

“Still Interested” New Year’s Resolutions

American Library Association - Campaigns - A.L.A. Campaign for Books. Front of Public Library, N.Y. City, N.Y (National Archives ID: 6234477) In 2010, the Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Information Policy (OIP) issued guidance (updated in 2014) addressing agencies’ practice of sending “still interested” letters to requesters to administratively close aging requests. OIP issued … Continue reading “Still Interested” New Year’s Resolutions

Best Practices for Bettering Your FOIA Program

Agency FOIA professionals who are looking for ways to improve their FOIA programs may wish to consider 43 Best Practices from the 2016-2018 term of the FOIA Advisory Committee. The Best Practices, which offer a range of suggestions regarding accessibility, process management, talent management, technology, and proactive disclosures, are detailed in the Committee’s 2018 Final … Continue reading Best Practices for Bettering Your FOIA Program

Education FOIA Compliance Assessment Report Now Available

OGIS’s latest FOIA compliance assessment shows that opportunities exist for the Department of Education’s Chief FOIA Officer to fulfill the statutory duties of ensuring compliance with FOIA and recommending improvements to FOIA implementation. The Department of Education assessment, the 13th conducted by OGIS, makes seven actionable recommendations for strengthening Education’s FOIA program, which received 3,041 … Continue reading Education FOIA Compliance Assessment Report Now Available

Epidemic of FOIA Excitement at CDC-Atlanta

  OGIS Deputy Director Martha Murphy and Mediation Team Lead Carrie McGuire visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia this week to participate in the Center’s third annual FOIA training summit. This special event brought together FOIA processors, FOIA coordinators, appeals staff and others to discuss FOIA issues of special … Continue reading Epidemic of FOIA Excitement at CDC-Atlanta

Will You Be Our (FOIA) Valentine?

The FOIA process, like any relationship, depends on good communications. In the spirit of the season, OGIS offers Valentines greetings to FOIA stakeholders who demonstrate good communication skills every day. We love all hardworking FOIA professionals, but particularly those who pick up the phone to talk to requesters. While making a call is an investment … Continue reading Will You Be Our (FOIA) Valentine?