Category Archives: Ombudsman

A Model FOIA Reg

As we’ve written before, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires agencies to have regulations that specify a fee schedule, designate agency components to receive requests and provide for expedited processing. Beyond those requirements, regulations should be a GPS, of … Continue reading

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The Department of State launches a new FOIA site

The Department of State received nearly 19,000 FOIA requests in fiscal year 2012 – clearly, people are interested in the agency’s records! To better satisfy the needs of the public, the department has launched a new FOIA website (available at … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, Best practices, Electronic records, Ombudsman, Open Government | Leave a comment

Reboot your e-records knowledge July 24

It would seem that the use of electronic records would simplify the FOIA process; if agencies don’t have to reproduce and redact paper, that’s got to be easier, right? In reality, electronic records raise lots of questions for FOIA programs. … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Electronic records, IT Solutions, Ombudsman, Records Management, Requester Roundtable | 4 Comments

Death breathes new life into some records

We’ve written before about the careful balancing act that Federal agencies must perform when they consider requests for records that contain information about an individual other than the requester—those who work for the government and those who don’t. In most … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, FOIA Exemptions, Ombudsman, Privacy | Leave a comment

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 … Continue reading

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The Business of Search

Composing a successful FOIA request can be tricky. Agencies are responsible for a mind-boggling amount of information, and finding a record amid years and years of accumulated documents can feel like searching for the proverbial needle in the haystack (though … Continue reading

Posted in About OGIS, definitions and concepts, Ombudsman, Records Management | Leave a comment

Upcoming Requester Roundtable: Fees and Fee Waivers

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 … Continue reading

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FOIA: Spread the Word!

FOIA is everyone’s responsibility. This is a common refrain for FOIA processors and records managers, but we have observed that it can be a challenge to impress upon those outside the FOIA department that FOIA is their job, too. For … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, Best practices, FOIA in the news, Ombudsman, Open Government, Records Management, Sunshine Week 2013 | Leave a comment

OGIS’s Sunshine Week Wrap-Up

Whew! We at OGIS have caught our breath after a hectic Sunshine Week during which we joined folks from both the agency and requester communities in promoting the importance of open government and freedom of information. (Of course, these values … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Best practices, FOIA in the news, Legislation, OGIS events, OGIS's Reports, Ombudsman, Open Government, Sunshine Week 2013 | Leave a comment

Announcing OGIS’s 2012 Report

We are pleased to share OGIS’s 2012 report, Office of Government Information Services: Building a Bridge Between FOIA Requesters & Federal Agencies. We hope that you will read about our accomplishments over the past year and our thoughts for the … Continue reading

Posted in About FOIA, About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, Best practices, definitions and concepts, Mediation services, OGIS's Reports, Ombudsman, Records Management, Sunshine Week 2013 | Leave a comment