Freedom of Information Act regulations sound like a sure cure for insomnia, but if FOIA were a movie, their role would be a real sleeper. We at OGIS recognize that well-crafted FOIA regulations are key to an effective agency FOIA process so we regularly comment on proposed changes to regulations as part of our statutory … Continue reading Don’t shut your eyes to the importance of FOIA regulations
Category: Plain Language
FOIA Letters and Plain Writing
This is an excerpt from an actual FOIA appeal response letter: Dear [name redacted], Reference is made to your letter to the [agency]…regarding the above referenced file. Through your letter you appeal the determination made…that certain records responsive to your request (or portions thereof) are exempt from release under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). … Continue reading FOIA Letters and Plain Writing
How to Invite a FOIA Lawsuit
In the course of our work as the FOIA Ombudsman, we regularly hear from agencies and requesters about FOIA practices that work well. We also hear about practices that don’t work as well. Too often, such problems result in legal action by requesters. We have observed that the following agency practices can be “litigation invitations”: … Continue reading How to Invite a FOIA Lawsuit
More on Plain Writing
We at OGIS have a serious case of plain writing fever. As you read on the FOIA Ombudsman a few weeks ago, the Plain Writing Act, signed in October, goes into effect this fall. We see this as unqualified good news! So what is plain writing? Simply put, it is clear, precise writing that makes … Continue reading More on Plain Writing
Hold the alphabet soup, please.
Government-speak -- with its acronyms, abbreviations and general jargon -- can make anyone’s head spin. Can the DoD IDA get trained on FOIA with CBT? Will the EPA FPL share an MOU with OGIS? OMG, it’s ridiculous enough to make you LOL (or SMH)! Some of us in the Federal world get a little entrenched … Continue reading Hold the alphabet soup, please.
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