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Announcement: Upcoming Dispute Resolution Skills Training for FOIA Professionals

FOIA professionals – particularly FOIA Public Liaisons – deal frequently with disputes. In fact, the amended Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. § 552) directs FOIA Public Liaisons to help resolve FOIA disputes. In order to equip these key FOIA staff members with useful tools to productively manage conflict, we are offering a free dispute resolution skills training program for FOIA professionals on Tuesday, April 26, 2011. This training program is presented in collaboration with the Department of Justice’s Office of Information Policy (OIP).

This training provides an overview of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) techniques. This understanding provides a basis for the other topics covered in the session, including working with OGIS to help resolve disputes, practicing active listening and good communication, and developing strategies for working with difficult people. Our DR training is a little different than that offered by others, however, because all of the material is presented in a FOIA context. We have offered this training on a few occasions in the past, and participants have told us that they have found it to be highly applicable to their work.

This full-day program for FOIA professionals will be offered at the National Archives and Records Administration, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 20408. There is no charge for this training program.

Registration for this free training program is extremely limited, and the program generally fills up within just a few hours of its announcement. If you would like to register or you want additional information, please email OGIS at: ogis@nara.gov.

If you cannot make it to this training program, don’t fear! We will offer this training a few more times in 2011. Keep an eye on The FOIA Ombudsman and OGIS’s site for more information.

We hope to see you at this or a future training session!