Images courtesy of Central Intelligence Agency. FOIA can be a challenge for even the most seasoned requester, and jargony language and acronyms make things even more confusing. Case in point: the term “Glomar” is often used to describe a FOIA response where the agency neither confirms nor denies (NCND) the existence of responsive records. Knowing where … Continue reading What the FOIA is GLOMAR?!
A US Air Force (USAF) female F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft pilot, assigned to the 157th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron (EFS), South Carolina Air National Guard (ANG), with the call sign of "Vixen," gives the thumbs up signal from the cockpit of her aircraft, as she prepares for a mission in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. National … Continue reading FOIA Advisory Committee Recommends Exemption 5 Transparency
"Here Lies a Good Idea. Don't Let Your Idea Die. Put it in the Suggestion Box Today." National Archives Identifier 514482 As presented and discussed at the June 8, 2023, FOIA Advisory Committee Meeting, the Modernization Subcommittee seeks public feedback on a model determination letter from federal agencies, FOIA requesters, and the public, before finalizing … Continue reading FOIA Advisory Committee Seeks Input on Draft Model Determination Letter
Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter fishing on August 26, 1978. National Archives Identifier 180949. OGIS has observed recently that agencies are increasingly using portals to send response letters and records to requesters. OGIS applauds this approach as portals are faster than U.S. postal mail and more secure than email. However, OGIS encourages agencies to consider … Continue reading Ensuring Effective Portal Communication with Requesters: Even When They’re on Vacation!
Dr. Edwin McMillan with mousetrap cigarette lighter atom smasher apparatus (Rube Goldberg inspired). Photograph taken March 21, 1974. XBB743-1774. [Photograph by: Steve Gerber] National Archives Identifier 39146966 Plain language has long been an interest of ours as we have observed that clear, concise and well-organized correspondence smoothes the FOIA process for all. After we put … Continue reading FOIA Communication: Keep it Simple!
Merry Christmas is the greeting from President Harry S. Truman as he sets forth from his home in Independence, Missouri, to deliver Christmas gifts to members of his family who live nearby, December 1945. Accession Number 2013-3621. In this season of giving and receiving, we thought we’d share our OGIS holiday wish list. We have only … Continue reading OGIS 2022 Holiday Wish List
https://giphy.com/gifs/usnationalarchives-archives-archivesgif-naid12065-1alh12SmIXpUoZEQar Your National Archives by US National Archives via GIPHY. National Archives Identifier 12065 In our previous two blog posts “Understanding the Office of Government Information Services” parts 1 and 2, we provided a basic overview of how OGIS is structured and highlighted aspects of our dispute resolution program. In this post we’ll touch on … Continue reading Understanding the Office of Government Information Services (part 3/4)
FLASHES OF ACTION [WORLD WAR I], 1921? via GIPHY. National Archives Identifier 35458 In our previous blog post “Understanding the Office of Government Information Services,” we provided a basic overview of OGIS’s history and structure. In this post we’ll focus on our mediation program. How are requests for OGIS assistance handled? FOIA requesters and agencies … Continue reading Understanding the Office of Government Information Services (part 2/4)
Address Your Letters Plainly. National Archives Identifier 44266146 As federal agencies approach the end of fiscal year 2022 in September, we know many are aiming to close old FOIA requests and reduce their FOIA backlogs. Some have begun to send requesters “still interested” letters to ensure that the information in a FOIA request is still … Continue reading OGIS Is Yet Again Interested in “Still Interested” Letters
Spring is here and as we open windows to let in fresh air and sunshine, tidy up around the house, and tackle projects we put off during the winter, why not bring that same mindset to your FOIA program?Since OGIS opened its doors in 2009, we’ve worked with agencies and requesters on thousands of requests … Continue reading Spring Cleaning: Take a fresh look at your FOIA program