Category Archives: Customer service

Have a FOIA Question? We are Here to Help

As the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Ombudsman, one of OGIS’s important functions is to help FOIA requesters better understand how the FOIA process works. We do this by working directly with those who contact our office and by making … Continue reading

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Case Study in Clarity

We play a valuable role in facilitating communications between a requester and an agency. A recent request made by National Public Radio (NPR) to the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) provides an example of this function. NPR reporter Caitlin Dickerson made … Continue reading

Posted in About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, Best practices, Customer service, FOIA Public Liaisons, Mediation services, OGIS Case Study | 1 Comment

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

FOIA Advisory Committee Surveys: Examining the FOIA Landscape

As we’ve previously mentioned, two subcommittees of the FOIA Advisory Committee — Oversight and Accountability, and Fees — have developed surveys to learn more about the areas they are examining. These surveys were recently sent to FOIA Public Liaisons (FPLs) … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, Customer service, Fees, FOIA Advisory Committee, FOIA Public Liaisons | 5 Comments

Let’s Talk About Estimated Dates of Completion

In 2007 Congress added a provision into the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that requires agencies to provide a requester with an estimated date by which the agency expects to  complete work on a request, when the requester asks for … Continue reading

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Let’s Make It Easier for Requesters to Use the FOIA Process

Agency Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regulations are one of the most important resources available to those requesting information from the federal government. As we’ve mentioned in the past, agency FOIA regulations are essentially the rule book the agency uses … Continue reading

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Mark Your Calendars: DHS Requester Roundtable Scheduled for March 25

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced that on Wednesday, March 25 from 2 to 3:00 pm (Eastern), DHS Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) staff will hold a Requester Roundtable teleconference. This is a fantastic opportunity for members of … Continue reading

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USCIS Invites Requesters to Stakeholder Meeting

U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) processed a mind-numbing 138,523 FOIA requests in the year ending September 30, 2013. (That’s more than 11,000 requests a month and nearly 600 a day!) Wonder how the agency does it? Searching for best … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Best practices, Customer service, Immigration records, OGIS events, Ombudsman | Leave a comment

Guest Post: Catching Up with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

We welcome guest bloggers! The following post is from Government Information Specialist Mark H. Graff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission: At the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s FOIA, Privacy, and Information Collections branch, we’ve been looking for ways to streamline … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Best practices, Customer service, Electronic records, Guest post, Ombudsman, Records Management, Team approach | Leave a comment