OGIS Releases Advisory Opinion and Compliance Assessment on Communication with Requesters

We are very pleased to announce the publication of our first advisory opinion and a companion Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) compliance assessment on written communication with requesters. Both documents look specifically at the importance of clear communication to requesters: providing requesters with a clear understanding of the resources available to them as they navigate … Continue reading OGIS Releases Advisory Opinion and Compliance Assessment on Communication with Requesters

Registration is Open: Chief FOIA Officers Council Meeting and CDC FOIA Requester Webinar

Registration is now open for the upcoming Chief FOIA Officers Council meeting on July 19, 2018 beginning at 10 am (EST).  If you cannot join us in person, you can watch the livestream via the National Archives’ YouTube Channel. The Chief FOIA Officers Council is co-chaired by OGIS and the Department of Justice Office of Information … Continue reading Registration is Open: Chief FOIA Officers Council Meeting and CDC FOIA Requester Webinar

Useful Resources for Veterans Records

We often receive requests for assistance to obtain access to veterans’ medical and service records of those men and women who have served our country in the armed forces.  These requests come from the veterans themselves, from their family members, and from interested researchers, historians, scholars and journalists. The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in … Continue reading Useful Resources for Veterans Records

Reflections on the July 27 Chief FOIA Officer Council Meeting

Those who follow the news on FOIA are likely already aware of last week’s Chief FOIA Officers Council meeting hosted by NARA in McGowan Theater. The meeting included a panel discussion of ways that agencies, OGIS and FOIA requesters can better work together. What follows are a few observations from the presentations from my fellow … Continue reading Reflections on the July 27 Chief FOIA Officer Council Meeting

An Update on Our Dispute Resolution Program

We’ve written before about the profound impact the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 has had on our workload, and that impact has only continued to grow.  Demand for our services has roughly quadrupled since the passage of the bill, while at the same time there are two open positions on the mediation team that we … Continue reading An Update on Our Dispute Resolution Program

Who Ya Gonna Call?

The FOIA process can be confusing for requesters, especially those who are filing their first FOIA requests or who do not know much about how a particular agency functions. Unfortunately, figuring out who you should contact within an agency to clear up that confusion and assist with a request can be equally baffling. FOIA Requester … Continue reading Who Ya Gonna Call?

Help Me FOIA. Help, Help Me FOIA.

As we have discussed, the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 requires that agencies inform FOIA requesters that they can ask for assistance from OGIS and an agency’s FOIA Public Liaison (FPL) throughout the request process. But what kind of help can requesters expect to receive from FPLs and OGIS? While FOIA gives both OGIS and … Continue reading Help Me FOIA. Help, Help Me FOIA.

Reserve a Seat for Dispute Resolutions Skills Training Session

We are happy to announce that registration is now open for the October 18 session of our popular Dispute Resolution Skills for FOIA Professionals training. The free day-long session will be at the National Archives in downtown Washington, DC, location. During our training sessions, we help FOIA professionals develop a working knowledge of Alternative Dispute … Continue reading Reserve a Seat for Dispute Resolutions Skills Training Session

The ABC’s of OGIS Training

As summer winds down and pictures of kids on their first day of school fill up our social media feeds, we thought it might be a good time for a pop quiz on OGIS’s training program. Test your knowledge with the true/false statements below. Statement 1: OGIS recently launched its training program. Answer 1: False. … Continue reading The ABC’s of OGIS Training

Upcoming Training Opportunity for FOIA Professionals

FOIA Public Liaisons and the professionals who staff FOIA requester service centers play a key role in the FOIA process—they provide valuable assistance with a process that can confuse requesters. The recently passed FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 expands the role that these professionals play, requiring agencies to notify requesters about FOIA Public Liaisons and … Continue reading Upcoming Training Opportunity for FOIA Professionals