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Archive for 'Alternative dispute resolution'

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 […]

Difficult Conversations, Part 1: Interests vs. Positions

As part of providing mediation services to resolve FOIA disputes, we OGIS staffers regularly have conversations that can be characterized as “difficult.” We listen to FOIA requesters who are furious about delays or denials. We also hear from agency FOIA professionals who are defensive about agency practices or frustrated by overly persistent requesters. Thanks to […]

FOIA and ADR: Will You Be My Valentine?

My name is Jean Whyte, and I serve as Director of the National Archives and Records Administration’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program.  I’ve been invited to write this guest post about the intersection of FOIA and ADR and why I believe these two are made for each other.  First, a little about our couple: Freedom […]

How to Invite a FOIA Lawsuit

In the course of our work as the FOIA Ombudsman, we regularly hear from agencies and requesters about FOIA practices that work well. We also hear about practices that don’t work as well. Too often, such problems result in legal action by requesters. We have observed that the following agency practices can be “litigation invitations”: […]

A New Game Plan: Teamwork Really Works!

Throughout 2011, OGIS observed a recurring concept: Federal agencies are succeeding through internal collaboration. This “team approach” to government operations promotes efficiency, reduces redundancy, and helps an agency successfully meet its statutory mandate. One area where teamwork is particularly important is records management; we’ve observed that many agencies are getting wise to this fact. President […]