Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) websites are more likely than not to be silent on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting agency FOIA processing. A majority of federal FOIA websites – 62.6 percent – reviewed by the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) in May and early June do not alert requesters to changes … Continue reading OGIS Publishes Results of COVID-19 FOIA Website Review
On May 28th, the Department of Justice, Office of Information Policy (OIP) posted Guidance for Agency FOIA Administration in Light of COVID-19 Impacts. Here are some highlights: Agencies’ legal obligations under the FOIA continue even as agencies are working during COVID-19. All of FOIA’s statutory time limits continue to apply during workforce adjustments. Agencies have … Continue reading COVID-19 and FOIA: DOJ Releases New Guidance
The COVID-19 pandemic — and the Federal government’s response to the outbreak — has resulted in a steep increase in FOIA requests submitted to agencies on the front lines of that response. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) received nearly the same number of requests in the first half of Fiscal Year (FY) … Continue reading May 12th Webinar: FOIA Requests for CDC COVID-19 Records
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of life in the United States, and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process is no exception. We will be sharing information in the coming weeks about how agencies are responding and providing links to resources that we hope will be useful to you. Here are some … Continue reading COVID-19 and FOIA: Observations and Useful Links
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
The rapid spread of COVID-19 in the United States is forcing many industries to rethink how they do business, and the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) is no exception. In the interest of social distancing, all OGIS staffers are teleworking. While we are pleased that we are able to continue to function as the … Continue reading OGIS Is Open For Business – How to Reach Us
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
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 2020 Dispute Resolution Training for FOIA Professionals for your agency. OGIS offers training sessions to individual agencies as our schedule … Continue reading Dispute Resolution Training for Agencies
Since 1985, the first full week of May has been designated as Public Service Recognition Week to honor those who serve our nation as Federal, state, county, and local government employees. Public service careers are not for those who seek glory—in fact, at its best, public service is largely invisible. We appreciate the annual opportunity … Continue reading Happy Public Service Recognition Week!
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?