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.

Records Management Directive Shifts Into Gear

It’s common wisdom in the library and information science community that if you have something and you can’t find it, you don’t have it. This principle is as true for agencies’ records as it is in university libraries, and it directly affects the efficiency and effectiveness of agency FOIA programs. We’ve written before about President … Continue reading Records Management Directive Shifts Into Gear

Teamwork Brings the Past to Life

We at OGIS talk a lot about the importance of teamwork. Though we mostly think about teamwork improving everyday agency processes (such as FOIA) so that they run more smoothly, we recently heard about a cross-agency team recognizing a small opportunity and turning it into a big reward. Between 1946 and 1995, the Immigration and … Continue reading Teamwork Brings the Past to Life