Cheers for a National FOIA Portal

Almost five and a half years ago we at OGIS recommended to Congress that the development of a governmentwide FOIA web portal could improve public access to government information. Now, thanks to ongoing collaboration between the Office of Management and Budget (OMB and the Office of Information Policy at the Department of Justice (DOJ) and … Continue reading Cheers for a National FOIA Portal

FOIA Gets an Online Makeover for its 49th Birthday!

Just days after FOIA celebrated its 49th birthday on July 4, the Department of Justice's Office of Information Policy (OIP) announced a pilot project aimed at improving government transparency by making almost all records released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) available to anyone online. FOIA offices in seven agencies, including the Office of General … Continue reading FOIA Gets an Online Makeover for its 49th Birthday!

Where Can I Get Basic FOIA Facts?

A little over a month ago, 18F—the digital services shop at the General Services Administration that’s modeled after tech-sector start-ups—released openFOIA. This website gives requesters a central location to learn how to make Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to any of the 100 federal departments and agencies that process public requests for records. The … Continue reading Where Can I Get Basic FOIA Facts?

A Sunny Forecast

While some of us on the East Coast may feel like this is the winter that will never end, it’s nice to know that there’s sunshine on the horizon – Sunshine Week 2014! During the week of March 16 to March 22, groups across the country will promote openness in state and local governments and … Continue reading A Sunny Forecast

Giving Thanks

In this season of reflection and good cheer, we at OGIS are giving thanks for some improvements we have seen recently in the FOIA world: While backlogs remain a significant problem, agencies are making strides in reducing them—they are down 45% in five years—even as requests increase and staffing decreases. OGIS constantly beats the drum … Continue reading Giving Thanks

FOIA Solutions: Little things mean a lot

The Department of Justice’s Office of Information Policy (OIP) hosted a Freedom of Information Act Administrative Forum on June 5, 2013, giving FOIA professionals – particularly FOIA Public Liaisons – a chance to discuss the issues they face. As with many discussions in this budget climate, the conversation inevitably turned to how to do more … Continue reading FOIA Solutions: Little things mean a lot

Live from D.C. … It’s FOIAonline!

Back in January, we reported that several Federal agencies had partnered to develop an online system aimed at expanding public access to information requested under FOIA. We’re pleased to report that FOIAonline is live! Beginning October 1, requesters seeking records from five Federal agencies can use FOIAonline to submit FOIA requests, track their progress, communicate with … Continue reading Live from D.C. … It’s FOIAonline!

FOIA Portal Moving from Idea to Reality

Consider this: a multi-agency FOIA portal that automates FOIA processing and reporting, stores FOIA requests and responses in a repository and keeps records electronically. Not to mention allows requesters to submit requests to fewer government websites, track the status of requests and find, view and download FOIA requests and agency responses, all in a secure … Continue reading FOIA Portal Moving from Idea to Reality