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Archive for May, 2011

Talking Back to FOIA

Though an ombudsman has many roles, one of the most important is to serve as a listening ear for a larger organization.  As the FOIA ombuds office, OGIS listens to complaints regarding the federal FOIA process; however, as a new entity, we are still figuring out how to best gather feedback from the requester community […]

Shedding Light on a Tricky Issue: FOIA Fees and Waivers

Of the many issues that confuse FOIA requesters and agency staff, we have observed that fees may be the most confusing. Determining what fees a requester must pay requires a high level of disclosure from the requester (who are you and what do you plan to do with these records?) and a judgment call from […]

OGIStance: What’s up with referrals these days?

Among OGIS’s recent cases are several from customers advised that their FOIA requests have been referred to other agencies for processing. In accordance with agency FOIA regulations, that’s usually no problem. But in the OGIS cases, the agencies making the referrals did not identify the name of the agencies to which they referred the requests, […]

Freedom of Information Contributes to a Free Press

As difficult as it sometimes can be to navigate our Freedom of Information Act in the U.S., the Act contributes to press freedom– a freedom that only one in six of the world’s inhabitants has, according to statistics released this week during  World Press Freedom Day. Free expression advocates from around the world gathered in […]