Main Reading Room, Helsinki Information Library

OGIS Publishes Assessment on Posting to FOIA Websites

Main Reading Room, Helsinki Information Library(National Archives ID: 23932377) This post was written by Meredith Doviak, Community Manager of the National Archives Catalog, who conducted this assessment on temporary assignment to OGIS as part of a National Archives and Records Administration Cross-training Program.  OGIS is pleased to announce our latest issue assessment examining the methods … Continue reading OGIS Publishes Assessment on Posting to FOIA Websites

Assessing FOIA Reading Rooms

The following post is written by Meredith Doviak, our National Archives colleague who is helping us assess methods agencies use to prepare documents for posting on agency FOIA reading rooms. In the decades since Congress amended FOIA in 1996 to expand the role of the agency FOIA reading room, the expectations and use of Federal … Continue reading Assessing FOIA Reading Rooms

The 411 on FOIA & the White House

Quick FOIA quiz: Is the White House subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)? Yes. And no. It depends on the function of a particular White House office. Offices within the Executive Office of the President that “wield … substantial authority independent of the President” are subject to FOIA, the Court of Appeals for … Continue reading The 411 on FOIA & the White House

Throwback Thursday: Thinking about Exemption 4

We get many requests for assistance related to FOIA Exemption 4, which protects from disclosure commercial and financial information provided to the government. For example, over the last few months we have heard from requesters frustrated about delays related to submitter notice and an agency interested in brainstorming how best to communicate with the entities … Continue reading Throwback Thursday: Thinking about Exemption 4

The Business of Search

Composing a successful FOIA request can be tricky. Agencies are responsible for a mind-boggling amount of information, and finding a record amid years and years of accumulated documents can feel like searching for the proverbial needle in the haystack (though some requesters and agency professionals would probably argue that the haystack searcher’s task is the … Continue reading The Business of Search

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 coming year. Please email us with your thoughts and feedback.

In Good Company

A few of us from OGIS recently attended a presentation by the Interagency Alternative Dispute Resolution Working Group, an organization for Federal employees who work in the area of alternative dispute resolution. The title of the presentation was “How an Ombuds Office Serving Employees, Customers, and Citizens Can Bring Greater Success to Your Agency.” The … Continue reading In Good Company

Thinking about FOIA Libraries

On January 21, 2013, representatives of 12 agencies and several requester groups gathered to discuss online FOIA “libraries.” The Attorney General’s 2009 FOIA Memorandum encouraged agencies to post information online in advance of a formal request. Many agencies’ FOIA regulations also require them to post records for which they receive multiple requests, and other agencies … Continue reading Thinking about FOIA Libraries