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Archive for 'Best practices'

Navigating a Sea of Records

  Editor’s note: This guest post is from Wendy Schumacher, Ph.D., PMP. Wendy, thank you for sharing your story. I started my job as the FOIA Officer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) about a year after the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. My new colleagues had collected, organized, reviewed, redacted and […]

Requesting Records Across Agencies

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 […]

Thinking about FOIA Libraries

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 […]

Check out the next FOIA Requester Roundtable on FOIA Libraries

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 […]

Dealing with Surplus in a Time of Scarcity: Reducing FOIA Backlogs

  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 […]