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?

Catching up with OGIS

Congress has temporarily restored funding of appropriated activities, and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) resumed normal operations as of January 28, 2019. We at OGIS returned to our offices this week to find more than 450 requests for assistance that accumulated during the shutdown. We have devoted  our time since returning to the … Continue reading Catching up with OGIS

Dispute Resolution Training for Agencies

Are you looking for a unique training opportunity for your agency’s FOIA staff, one that will improve communications within your FOIA program and with FOIA requesters? If so, now is a great time to schedule 2019 Dispute Resolution Training for FOIA Professionals for your agency. OGIS offers our training program twice yearly to any interested … Continue reading Dispute Resolution Training for Agencies

Reserve a Seat for the Upcoming Dispute Resolution Skills Training Session

Calling all FOIA professionals! Registration is now open for the November 2nd session of our popular training, “Dispute Resolution Skills for FOIA Professionals,” which will be held at the OGIS offices in downtown Washington, DC. This free, daylong training session helps FOIA professionals develop valuable communication skills for preventing and resolving FOIA disputes. Attendees also … Continue reading Reserve a Seat for the Upcoming Dispute Resolution Skills Training Session

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

Highlighting Great Customer Service at USCIS

Each year we include a few case studies in our Annual Report to highlight the way that we can help assist FOIA requesters and agencies in resolving FOIA disputes. Today, we want to share one of the case studies from our Fiscal Year 2017 Report that shows how U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provided … Continue reading Highlighting Great Customer Service at USCIS

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