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Providing Consent

  Repeat OGIS customers may wonder why we sometimes ask them to provide consent to discuss their requests with agencies and other times we don’t. We recently contacted a requester whose consent we had asked for a few weeks earlier and told her, in essence: just kidding, we really don’t need your consent. So why […]

Shutdown Didn’t Stop FOIA Clock

FOIA request processing came to a screeching halt during the 16-day government shutdown as the vast majority of FOIA professionals were furloughed as “non-excepted” employees. We don’t like the term “non-essential” since we consider FOIA essential, as Sen. Patrick Leahy noted October 5 on the Senate floor. “We … take for granted that our open […]

A Model FOIA Reg

As we’ve written before, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires agencies to have regulations that specify a fee schedule, designate agency components to receive requests and provide for expedited processing. Beyond those requirements, regulations should be a GPS, of sorts, to help both agency FOIA professionals and requesters navigate the FOIA process. Our parent […]

OGIS Case Study: A Ray of Light

Four years after making a FOIA request, Tom Tangen was in the dark – portions of his July 2008 FOIA request seeking access to classified information about American rifle grenades used in World War II and the Korean War seemed to have disappeared into a black hole. He’d filed a FOIA request with the National […]

Untangling Fees

FOIA fees can quickly snarl into knots for agency FOIA professionals and requesters alike. Untangling those knots takes work, but one of the best tools for the task is communication. That’s the central theme that emerged from a recent FOIA Requester Roundtable, sponsored by OGIS and the Office of Information Policy (OIP), Department of Justice […]