UNESCO and ICIC Celebrate International Day for Universal Access to Information

In observance of International Day for Universal Access to Information, two international access organizations are co-hosting a webinar from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EDT on September 29, 2020, to discuss best practices in access to information amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Register for the webinar here. The United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) … Continue reading UNESCO and ICIC Celebrate International Day for Universal Access to Information

Recap: Recent OGIS/CDC Webinar on Requests for COVID-19 Records

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted agency FOIA programs in various ways– some of which we have discussed previously in this space, and others that were addressed in recent Department of Justice Office of Information Policy guidance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has seen a staggering increase in its FOIA caseload in the … Continue reading Recap: Recent OGIS/CDC Webinar on Requests for COVID-19 Records

OGIS Publishes Results of COVID-19 FOIA Website Review

Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) websites are more likely than not to be silent on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting agency FOIA processing. A majority of federal FOIA websites – 62.6 percent – reviewed by the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) in May and early June do not alert requesters to changes … Continue reading OGIS Publishes Results of COVID-19 FOIA Website Review

FOIA Advisory Committee Meets Virtually May 1

  The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Committee meets Friday May 1 and you are invited to join us — virtually! The Committee will discuss its report and consider recommendations from the Vision and Time/Volume subcommittees. The virtual meeting, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., is open to the public. Unlike previous FOIA Advisory … Continue reading FOIA Advisory Committee Meets Virtually May 1

Statement of the International Conference of Information Commissioners: “Access to Information in the context of a global pandemic”

The impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic brings unprecedented challenges for our society, both nationally and globally. The Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) has joined over three dozen of its colleagues worldwide to support the International Conference of Information Commissioners (ICIC) in its statement acknowledging the challenges public authorities face in the current pandemic … Continue reading Statement of the International Conference of Information Commissioners: “Access to Information in the context of a global pandemic”

The Technology Committee is Now Full

Several weeks ago we invited government Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) professionals with an interest in technology and innovation to consider volunteering their knowledge and talents to the Technology Committee of the Chief FOIA Officers (CFO) Council. To date, more than 20 FOIA professionals from a variety of federal agencies have expressed an interest, and … Continue reading The Technology Committee is Now Full

COVID-19 and FOIA: Observations and Useful Links

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of life in the United States, and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process is no exception. We will be sharing information in the coming weeks about how agencies are responding and providing links to resources that we hope will be useful to you.  Here are some … Continue reading COVID-19 and FOIA: Observations and Useful Links

Setting Expectations in Extraordinary Times

We at the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) hear you loud and clear! The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging FOIA professionals and requesters alike in unprecedented ways. Amid all the uncertainty, one thing is certain: response times are likely to increase. It is more important than ever to keep the lines of communication open. One … Continue reading Setting Expectations in Extraordinary Times

OGIS Is Open For Business – How to Reach Us

The rapid spread of COVID-19 in the United States is forcing many industries to rethink how they do business, and the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) is no exception. In the interest of social distancing, all OGIS staffers are teleworking. While we are pleased that we are able to continue to function as the … Continue reading OGIS Is Open For Business – How to Reach Us

Assessing FOIA Reading Rooms

The following post is written by Meredith Doviak, our National Archives colleague who is helping us assess methods agencies use to prepare documents for posting on agency FOIA reading rooms. In the decades since Congress amended FOIA in 1996 to expand the role of the agency FOIA reading room, the expectations and use of Federal … Continue reading Assessing FOIA Reading Rooms