Catch Up with the 2016-2018 FOIA Advisory Committee!

On October 19, 2017 the FOIA Advisory Committee worked its way through a jam-packed agenda, including discussion of draft recommendations from each of the three subcommittees – Searches; Efficiency and Resources; and Proactive Disclosure. As the Archivist of the United States noted in his welcoming remarks, a uniting theme for all three subcommittees is the … Continue reading Catch Up with the 2016-2018 FOIA Advisory Committee!

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 our internal processes and increase the use of technology to better respond to FOIA requests. … Continue reading Guest Post: Catching Up with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

OGIS Director testifies, suggests improvements to FOIA

OGIS Director Miriam Nisbet joined other advocates of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on March 11, testifying before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary about OGIS’s work and two new suggestions the Office has for improving FOIA. OGIS proposes that FOIA be embedded into Federal Information Technology (IT) management across the government. “We suggest … Continue reading OGIS Director testifies, suggests improvements to FOIA

Do You Copy?

When agencies respond to a FOIA request with released records, they retain a copy of those records along with the response letter in a file documenting the request. This is important for a couple of reasons—so that the agency can respond to any questions from the requester, or that the information can be passed along … Continue reading Do You Copy?

Managing Emails & Government Records: Are your ducks in a row?

In his November 28, 2011 Presidential Memorandum -Managing Government Records, President Obama noted “proper records management is the backbone of open Government.” Sound records management helps agencies carry out their missions, promotes accountability by documenting agency activities, and fosters open Government. As we’ve written before, good records management is essential for good FOIA programs. That’s … Continue reading Managing Emails & Government Records: Are your ducks in a row?

Making “Publicly Available” Records Available

As the government strives to find ways to improve FOIA, proactive disclosure seems to be one strategy that everyone agrees on; if agencies make more information publicly available, people will not need to make FOIA requests for those records. In many cases, this strategy has worked. Thanks to efforts like data.gov and agencies’ FOIA libraries, … Continue reading Making “Publicly Available” Records Available

Surging ahead into the electronic world

As we move toward a more digitized society, we’re continually looking to build upon electronic access and management of government records. FOIA requesters and agency FOIA professionals came together this week to discuss issues they face working with electronic records. Records management was a key point of discussion — electronic records can be incredibly time-saving, … Continue reading Surging ahead into the electronic world

The Department of State launches a new FOIA site

The Department of State received nearly 19,000 FOIA requests in fiscal year 2012 – clearly, people are interested in the agency’s records! To better satisfy the needs of the public, the department has launched a new FOIA website (available at www.foia.state.gov). State designed the website with researchers in mind. It makes already-public information easier to … Continue reading The Department of State launches a new FOIA site

Reboot your e-records knowledge July 24

It would seem that the use of electronic records would simplify the FOIA process; if agencies don’t have to reproduce and redact paper, that’s got to be easier, right? In reality, electronic records raise lots of questions for FOIA programs. For instance: If a requester asks for electronic copies of paper records -- requiring the … Continue reading Reboot your e-records knowledge July 24