2017 FOIA Compliance Self-Assessment Survey Results Now Available

Yesterday we published our analysis and observations of FOIA compliance issues based on the responses to FOIA questions included in the 2017 Records Management Self-Assessment (RMSA). This report is the result of our continued collaboration with the Chief Records Officer (CRO) of the United States Government to gather government-wide information about FOIA policies and procedures. … Continue reading 2017 FOIA Compliance Self-Assessment Survey Results Now Available

Record Keeping for FOIA Requesters 101

Here at OGIS, we love good record keeping practices. Not only are we housed within the National Records and Archives Administration (NARA), which has responsibility for setting the federal government’s record keeping policies, we also know that strong agency record keeping is the backbone of a good Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) office. If an … Continue reading Record Keeping for FOIA Requesters 101

Guest Post: Catching Up with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

We welcome guest bloggers! The following post is from Government Information Specialist Mark H. Graff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission: At the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s FOIA, Privacy, and Information Collections branch, we’ve been looking for ways to streamline our internal processes and increase the use of technology to better respond to FOIA requests. … Continue reading Guest Post: Catching Up with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Managing Emails & Government Records: Are your ducks in a row?

In his November 28, 2011 Presidential Memorandum -Managing Government Records, President Obama noted “proper records management is the backbone of open Government.” Sound records management helps agencies carry out their missions, promotes accountability by documenting agency activities, and fosters open Government. As we’ve written before, good records management is essential for good FOIA programs. That’s … Continue reading Managing Emails & Government Records: Are your ducks in a row?

Making “Publicly Available” Records Available

As the government strives to find ways to improve FOIA, proactive disclosure seems to be one strategy that everyone agrees on; if agencies make more information publicly available, people will not need to make FOIA requests for those records. In many cases, this strategy has worked. Thanks to efforts like data.gov and agencies’ FOIA libraries, … Continue reading Making “Publicly Available” Records Available

Surging ahead into the electronic world

As we move toward a more digitized society, we’re continually looking to build upon electronic access and management of government records. FOIA requesters and agency FOIA professionals came together this week to discuss issues they face working with electronic records. Records management was a key point of discussion — electronic records can be incredibly time-saving, … Continue reading Surging ahead into the electronic world

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. For instance: If a requester asks for electronic copies of paper records -- requiring the … Continue reading Reboot your e-records knowledge July 24

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 some requesters and agency professionals would probably argue that the haystack searcher’s task is the … Continue reading The Business of Search

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 those who don’t live and breathe FOIA, having a cumbersome, time-sensitive project like a FOIA … Continue reading FOIA: Spread the Word!

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 coming year. Please email us with your thoughts and feedback.