Category Archives: Best practices

Shutdown Didn’t Stop FOIA Clock

FOIA request processing came to a screeching halt during the 16-day government shutdown as the vast majority of FOIA professionals were furloughed as “non-excepted” employees. We don’t like the term “non-essential” since we consider FOIA essential, as Sen. Patrick Leahy … Continue reading

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Managing Emails & Government Records: Are your ducks in a row?

In his November 28, 2011 Presidential Memorandum -Managing Government Records, President Obama noted “proper records management is the backbone of open Government.” Sound records management helps agencies carry out their missions, promotes accountability by documenting agency activities, and fosters open … Continue reading

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Making “Publicly Available” Records Available

As the government strives to find ways to improve FOIA, proactive disclosure seems to be one strategy that everyone agrees on; if agencies make more information publicly available, people will not need to make FOIA requests for those records. In … Continue reading

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The Department of State launches a new FOIA site

The Department of State received nearly 19,000 FOIA requests in fiscal year 2012 – clearly, people are interested in the agency’s records! To better satisfy the needs of the public, the department has launched a new FOIA website (available at … Continue reading

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FOIA Solutions: Little things mean a lot

The Department of Justice’s Office of Information Policy (OIP) hosted a Freedom of Information Act Administrative Forum on June 5, 2013, giving FOIA professionals – particularly FOIA Public Liaisons – a chance to discuss the issues they face. As with … Continue reading

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Forecast: Innovation Ahead

Did you check the forecast this morning to see if you should grab an umbrella before you headed out the door? If so, did you know that information collected and distributed by the government helped you to stay dry? Many … Continue reading

Posted in Best practices, Government information, innovation, Open Government | 1 Comment

FOIA: Spread the Word!

FOIA is everyone’s responsibility. This is a common refrain for FOIA processors and records managers, but we have observed that it can be a challenge to impress upon those outside the FOIA department that FOIA is their job, too. For … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, Best practices, FOIA in the news, Ombudsman, Open Government, Records Management, Sunshine Week 2013 | Leave a comment

OGIS’s Sunshine Week Wrap-Up

Whew! We at OGIS have caught our breath after a hectic Sunshine Week during which we joined folks from both the agency and requester communities in promoting the importance of open government and freedom of information. (Of course, these values … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Best practices, FOIA in the news, Legislation, OGIS events, OGIS's Reports, Ombudsman, Open Government, Sunshine Week 2013 | Leave a comment

Announcing OGIS’s 2012 Report

We are pleased to share OGIS’s 2012 report, Office of Government Information Services: Building a Bridge Between FOIA Requesters & Federal Agencies. We hope that you will read about our accomplishments over the past year and our thoughts for the … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, Best practices, definitions and concepts, Mediation services, OGIS's Reports, Ombudsman, Records Management, Sunshine Week 2013 | Leave a comment

Professionalizing the FOIA Profession: The 0306 Government Information Specialist Job Series

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 … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Best practices, Ombudsman, Open Government, Privacy | 2 Comments