The National Archives will host—and live stream—its second Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Committee meeting on Tuesday, October 21, 2014. The Committee will discuss the FOIA issues on which it has agreed to focus: FOIA oversight and accountability, proactive disclosures, and FOIA fees. Due to space limitations and access procedures, advance registration is required. … Continue reading October 21 FOIA Advisory Committee to be live streamed!
FOIA fees can quickly snarl into knots for agency FOIA professionals and requesters alike. Untangling those knots takes work, but one of the best tools for the task is communication. That’s the central theme that emerged from a recent FOIA Requester Roundtable, sponsored by OGIS and the Office of Information Policy (OIP), Department of Justice … Continue reading Untangling Fees
The issue of fees can trip up even the most experienced requester and FOIA professional. We all know that it is a tricky issue, but might there be a better way? In our 2013 recommendations, we laid out our plan to discuss the issue of fees and fee waivers with the requester and agency communities; … Continue reading Upcoming Requester Roundtable: Fees and Fee Waivers
It’s back-to-school time—you can practically hear the rumbling of school buses and smell the new No. 2 pencils. As students across the country turn their focus from the swimming pool and summer camp toward reading, writing and ‘rithmetic, what better time for us to revisit some FOIA requester basics? FOIA requesters frequently contact OGIS for … Continue reading Back to (FOIA) School: Requester Categories vs. Fee Waivers
As part of providing mediation services to resolve FOIA disputes, we OGIS staffers regularly have conversations that can be characterized as “difficult.” We listen to FOIA requesters who are furious about delays or denials. We also hear from agency FOIA professionals who are defensive about agency practices or frustrated by overly persistent requesters. Thanks to … Continue reading Difficult Conversations, Part 1: Interests vs. Positions
FOIA isn’t free, we all know that. The Federal government’s estimated spending on FOIA in 2010 was approximately $416 million. Usually, an agency will process its own FOIA requests by searching for, retrieving and reviewing records. But when an agency has to ask a contractor or even another agency to assist with a request, and … Continue reading Paying the FOIA bills
Of the many issues that confuse FOIA requesters and agency staff, we have observed that fees may be the most confusing. Determining what fees a requester must pay requires a high level of disclosure from the requester (who are you and what do you plan to do with these records?) and a judgment call from … Continue reading Shedding Light on a Tricky Issue: FOIA Fees and Waivers