Archive for 'About FOIA'
With 100 departments and agencies, the Executive Branch can feel downright massive sometimes. Although each of the 100 has a separate and distinct mission, and no doubt creates very different kinds of records, there is also some overlap in the way agencies operate and with the records they keep. Since its start, OGIS has been [...]
OGIS Director Miriam Nisbet appeared on WAMU radio’s award-winning Kojo Nnamdi show on January 29, 2013, for a discussion titled “Following Through on FOIA: Progress and Pitfalls.” Daniel Metcalfe, Executive Director of the Collaboration on Government Secrecy at American University’s Washington College of Law and Thomas Blanton, Director of the National Security Archive at George [...]
On January 21, 2013, representatives of 12 agencies and several requester groups gathered to discuss online FOIA “libraries.” The Attorney General’s 2009 FOIA Memorandum encouraged agencies to post information online in advance of a formal request. Many agencies’ FOIA regulations also require them to post records for which they receive multiple requests, and other agencies [...]
Did you know that agencies are required under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 USC § 552(a)(2), to make available to the public five categories of records: final opinions, including concurring and dissenting opinions and orders, made in adjudicated cases; policy statements not published in the Federal Register; administrative staff manuals and instructions that [...]
There’s a great deal of pressure on agencies to reduce the number of FOIA requests in their backlogs. The FOIA community talks a lot about backlogs, but mostly in numbers, not in terms of how some agencies have succeeded in reducing the number of cases awaiting response. Considering the budget environment in which all [...]
Freedom of Information Act regulations sound like a sure cure for insomnia, but if FOIA were a movie, their role would be a real sleeper. We at OGIS recognize that well-crafted FOIA regulations are key to an effective agency FOIA process so we regularly comment on proposed changes to regulations as part of our statutory [...]
It’s common wisdom in the library and information science community that if you have something and you can’t find it, you don’t have it. This principle is as true for agencies’ records as it is in university libraries, and it directly affects the efficiency and effectiveness of agency FOIA programs. We’ve written before about President [...]
While many (correctly) associate OGIS with mediation services to resolve FOIA disputes, those services are not the full extent of our mandate. Congress created OGIS to also review agencies’ FOIA policies, procedures and compliance. Sounds great, but how does OGIS learn what agencies are doing, and what do we do with that information? Obviously, our [...]
Experienced FOIA requesters can attest that FOIA requests follow a well-established process: a requester submits a request; the agency responds to that request; if the requester is dissatisfied with the response, he/she submits an administrative appeal; the agency responds to the appeal. Before OGIS opened in 2009, a requester who remained dissatisfied after the agency [...]
Posted by Carrie McGuire on November 2, 2012, under About FOIA, About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, definitions and concepts, Mediation services, Ombudsman, Requests and appeals.
When you request records about yourself from the Federal government, agencies apply both the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act of 1974 (Privacy Act) to grant the most access possible. FOIA and the Privacy Act have different purposes. FOIA provides the public with a right of access to government records while the [...]