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Archive for April, 2012

Searching for Answers about Record Searches?

Have you ever wondered why it takes so long for an agency to find responsive records after you make a FOIA request? After all, isn’t there a “Government Google” that allows an agency to search its records with a few keystrokes? Or, have you received a FOIA fee estimate in the thousands of dollars because […]

Extra Extra: Read All About Us!

Ever had one of those weeks when your car has a flat, the dog escapes and you get a call from your bank because your credit card number was stolen? We’ve had a couple weeks like that at OGIS regarding publishing online our 2012 report on our second full year. But never mind all that […]

Scoping Out a Successful FOIA Request

Describing the scope of a FOIA request — and on the agency’s side, interpreting the scope of that request — often feels like more art than science. Requesters naturally describe requests in expansive terms to be sure that they don’t exclude potentially valuable information. On the other hand, agency FOIA staffers often feel like they […]

Difficult Conversations, Part 2: How do we get there from here?

In last week’s post we discussed the difference between positions and interests. In brief, positions are what an angry person presents during a confrontation; interests are the secret, unmet needs that anyone in a dispute may be reluctant to share. We also learned that the only way to move toward a resolution is to discuss […]