Outbreak of Interesting FOIA Discussions Reported at CDC Atlanta HQ

On Wednesday, March 28, OGIS’s Mediation Team Lead Carrie McGuire facilitated a FOIA forum at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. This special event brought together FOIA processors, FOIA coordinators, appeals staff and others from across the federal government to discuss FOIA issues of special interest. For years, OGIS has … Continue reading Outbreak of Interesting FOIA Discussions Reported at CDC Atlanta HQ

Dispute Resolution: It’s a Team Sport

As we have discussed before, OGIS is not the only entity that requesters can go to for help with the FOIA process. In fact, agencies were directed to create FOIA Requester Service Centers and appoint FOIA Public Liaisons in December 2005 – about two years before passage of the bill that created our office. Since … Continue reading Dispute Resolution: It’s a Team Sport

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

FOIA and Dispute Resolution: Voices from the Field

This year’s American Society of Access Professionals (ASAP) Annual Training Conference included a panel titled “FOIA and Dispute Resolution.” The panel included Kathy Ray from the Department of Transportation and Brad Heath, a USA Today reporter and frequent FOIA requester. The session was completely full, and there were lots of questions and excellent discussion. The … Continue reading FOIA and Dispute Resolution: Voices from the Field

Dealing with Surplus in a Time of Scarcity: Reducing FOIA Backlogs

  There’s a great deal of pressure on agencies to reduce the number of FOIA requests in their backlogs. The FOIA community talks a lot about backlogs, but mostly in numbers, not in terms of how some agencies have succeeded in reducing the number of cases awaiting response. Considering the budget environment in which all … Continue reading Dealing with Surplus in a Time of Scarcity: Reducing FOIA Backlogs

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

Government-wide Records Directive Addresses Electronic Records

By the end of the decade, Federal agencies must digitize management of electronic records—including the millions of emails sent and received each year—according to a new records directive introduced last week. With a focus on a digital transition, the Managing Government Records Directive issued jointly by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the … Continue reading Government-wide Records Directive Addresses Electronic Records

Got Appeals?

The administrative appeal process is an integral part of FOIA. Federal agencies received almost 10,000 FOIA appeals in the year ending September 30, 2010. FOIA sets forth two requirements pertaining to the appeal process: (1) agencies must notify requesters of the right to appeal any adverse determination; and (2) agencies must make a determination with … Continue reading Got Appeals?

OGIS Information Technology Solutions: Technology can make a difference

This week’s guest blogger is Gery Huelseman, Principal Technical Advisor to the Air Force’s Knowledge Ops Branch, National Air & Space Intelligence Center and key member of the OGIS-facilitated FOIA Information Technology Working Group. IT Working Group members will occasionally use the FOIA Ombudsman to share their thoughts on technology solutions. Do you need to … Continue reading OGIS Information Technology Solutions: Technology can make a difference

A New Game Plan: Teamwork Really Works!

Throughout 2011, OGIS observed a recurring concept: Federal agencies are succeeding through internal collaboration. This “team approach” to government operations promotes efficiency, reduces redundancy, and helps an agency successfully meet its statutory mandate. One area where teamwork is particularly important is records management; we’ve observed that many agencies are getting wise to this fact. President … Continue reading A New Game Plan: Teamwork Really Works!