Archive for 'definitions and concepts'
Composing a successful FOIA request can be tricky. Agencies are responsible for a mind-boggling amount of information, and finding a record amid years and years of accumulated documents can feel like searching for the proverbial needle in the haystack (though some requesters and agency professionals would probably argue that the haystack searcher’s task is the [...]
FOIA fees can quickly snarl into knots for agency FOIA professionals and requesters alike. Untangling those knots takes work, but one of the best tools for the task is communication. That’s the central theme that emerged from a recent FOIA Requester Roundtable, sponsored by OGIS and the Office of Information Policy (OIP), Department of Justice [...]
We are pleased to share OGIS’s 2012 report, Office of Government Information Services: Building a Bridge Between FOIA Requesters & Federal Agencies. We hope that you will read about our accomplishments over the past year and our thoughts for the coming year. Please email us with your thoughts and feedback.
Posted by Carrie McGuire on March 18, 2013, under About FOIA, About OGIS, Alternative dispute resolution, Best practices, definitions and concepts, Mediation services, OGIS's Reports, Ombudsman, Records Management, Sunshine Week 2013.
A few of us from OGIS recently attended a presentation by the Interagency Alternative Dispute Resolution Working Group, an organization for Federal employees who work in the area of alternative dispute resolution. The title of the presentation was “How an Ombuds Office Serving Employees, Customers, and Citizens Can Bring Greater Success to Your Agency.” The [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]