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Archive for May, 2012

Demystifying Immigration Records, Part 1

At least five different Federal agencies maintain immigration records, so figuring out which agency holds what records can be challenging—even for frequent FOIA requesters like immigration attorneys. On the flip side, agencies are challenged by a constant stream of immigration records requests. An OGIS-sponsored forum on immigration records May 23 brought immigration attorneys and others […]

Estimating Completion Dates for FOIA Requests: Tips for Agencies

We receive a number of requests for assistance from FOIA requesters seeking an estimated completion date for their delayed FOIA requests. When we contact agencies for the estimated completion date, we sometimes get some pretty strong pushback. That’s understandable, since nobody wants to go on record making a promise when lots of variables beyond his/her […]

Upcoming OGIS Forum: Immigration Records

Immigration records offer a wealth of valuable information for immigrants, genealogists, journalists, academic researchers and others. However, several agencies maintain immigration records, so finding them can challenge even the savviest FOIA requester. Join agency representatives and requesters for an OGIS Forum on immigration records on Wednesday, May 23, from 10:00 a.m. to noon. This event, […]

FOIA Helps Shine a Light on Retirement Plans

The following guest post is from Ryan Alfred, co-founder and president of BrightScope, a financial data and analytics company, launched in January 2009. Mr. Alfred spoke at the March 30, 2012 Smart Disclosure summit, hosted by the National Archives and the White House, about his experiences using FOIA. By including his post on the FOIA […]

Improving FOIA

The following post is from OGIS Director Miriam Nisbet: The Freedom of Information Act directs OGIS to recommend “policy changes to Congress and the President to improve the administration” of FOIA. Since late 2009 when OGIS opened as part of the National Archives and Records Administration, the Office has looked for and shared ways to […]