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Archive for 'Best practices'

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 […]

FOIA Fever: It’s Contagious

We’ve written about the positive difference that executive support for FOIA can make in federal agencies. We’ve made this point in our recommendations and,  whenever we can, we encourage agencies to make FOIA a priority (and communicate this across the board). One effective way that agency heads can spread the word that FOIA matters is […]

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 […]

Managing Emails & Government Records: Are your ducks in a row?

In his November 28, 2011 Presidential Memorandum -Managing Government Records, President Obama noted “proper records management is the backbone of open Government.” Sound records management helps agencies carry out their missions, promotes accountability by documenting agency activities, and fosters open Government. As we’ve written before, good records management is essential for good FOIA programs. That’s […]