We play a valuable role in facilitating communications between a requester and an agency. A recent request made by National Public Radio (NPR) to the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) provides an example of this function. NPR reporter Caitlin Dickerson made a request to the NRL for records about a World War II-era medical experiment that … Continue reading Case Study in Clarity
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?
Four years after making a FOIA request, Tom Tangen was in the dark – portions of his July 2008 FOIA request seeking access to classified information about American rifle grenades used in World War II and the Korean War seemed to have disappeared into a black hole. He’d filed a FOIA request with the National … Continue reading OGIS Case Study: A Ray of Light
When University of California–Los Angeles economics professor Dora Costa started looking at aging processes and extreme longevity, she knew military files of Civil War veterans would be crucial to her research. Costa planned to compare medical records and life histories of Civil War veterans with present-day veterans’ records for soldiers who lived to be at … Continue reading Civil War-era Pension Records: An OGIS Case Study
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”