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Archive for 'About FOIA'

Modernizing FOIA

The U.S. National Action Plan for the global Open Government Partnership is big news for FOIA. We’ve written about the plan’s five-part commitment for strengthening and modernizing the Freedom of Information Act. One of the five components of the FOIA commitment calls for a new FOIA advisory committee: Establish a FOIA Modernization Advisory Committee. Improvements to FOIA […]

Upcoming FOIA Requester Roundtable: Estimated Completion Dates

We’ve written before about the importance of providing estimated completion dates to requesters — not only is it good customer service, but since 2007, it’s the law. Unfortunately, OGIS still hears from many requesters with delayed requests who have not heard when they might expect a response. In those cases, OGIS contacts the agency, talks […]

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 […]

Do You Copy?

When agencies respond to a FOIA request with released records, they retain a copy of those records along with the response letter in a file documenting the request. This is important for a couple of reasons—so that the agency can respond to any questions from the requester, or that the information can be passed along […]

Giving Thanks

In this season of reflection and good cheer, we at OGIS are giving thanks for some improvements we have seen recently in the FOIA world: While backlogs remain a significant problem, agencies are making strides in reducing them—they are down 45% in five years—even as requests increase and staffing decreases. OGIS constantly beats the drum […]