Since OGIS opened in 2009, we’ve noticed that some FOIA Public Liaisons (FPLs) are not entirely clear about their role. The job title, created by Executive Order 13392 in December 2005, was codified in the OPEN Government Act of 2007, (5 U.S.C. § 552 (a)(6)(B)(ii) and (l)). One provision says that FPL’s are responsible for … Continue reading That’s Not My Job… or Is It?
We here at OGIS were so busy earlier in September that we missed a big one: OGIS’s second birthday. That’s saying something for a team that includes some talented bakers and chocolate aficionados. Two years ago, OGIS Director Miriam Nisbet walked into an empty office with a big congressional mandate: offer mediation services to resolve … Continue reading Happy (Belated) Birthday OGIS!
Many people believe that federal law enforcement agencies have some kind of investigatory file on them. The truth is that very few people have been investigated by an agency such as the FBI, but that doesn’t stop many people from requesting their own records from federal law enforcement agencies. (When an individual requests access to … Continue reading OGIS Case Study #1 – “I am pretty sure the Government has a file on me”
If you’ve called OGIS, had a case with us or read this blog, you’ve probably heard the mantra: “We’re from the government and we’re here to help!” We’ve heard from hundreds of people seeking assistance -- on everything from the expected -- FOIA delays, denials, fees and exemption use -- to the unexpected -- employee … Continue reading Setting Expectations
How often have you heard that statement? When you heard it, did you believe it? In the OPEN Government Act of 2007 Congress baked customer service into FOIA by creating OGIS to help the FOIA community resolve disputes and to recommend improvements to the administration of FOIA. Congress also codified the role of FOIA Public … Continue reading OGIStance: “We’re from the government and we’re here to help!”
As regular readers of this blog already know, OGIS was created when the 2007 OPEN Government Act amended the FOIA. However, the Act didn’t stop there -- it also formalized the role of the FOIA Public Liaison (FPL). Specifically it says: FOIA Public Liaisons shall report to the agency Chief FOIA Officer and shall serve … Continue reading What’s a FOIA Public Liaison?
Though an ombudsman has many roles, one of the most important is to serve as a listening ear for a larger organization. As the FOIA ombuds office, OGIS listens to complaints regarding the federal FOIA process; however, as a new entity, we are still figuring out how to best gather feedback from the requester community … Continue reading Talking Back to FOIA
On April 26, the OGIS staff (along with our friend Jean Whyte from NARA’s Alternative Dispute Resolution program) presented a daylong training session entitled “Dispute Resolution Skills Training for FOIA Professionals” to representatives from agencies across the Government. As with previous offerings of this training over the past year, the Justice Department’s Office of Information … Continue reading Introducing: The FOIA Dispute Resolution Process
The OPEN Government Act of 2007 amended the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), in part, to create OGIS. In establishing OGIS’s mission, the newly amended FOIA directs OGIS to offer “mediation services” to resolve disputes between FOIA requesters and Federal agencies. Seems straightforward, right? An agency or a requester approaches OGIS with a problem related … Continue reading Mediation Services – Say What?