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Archive for 'definitions and concepts'

A Peek Inside the Sausage Factory

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 […]

Timing is Everything: When Does OGIS Get Involved?

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 […]

Reconciling FOIA and the Privacy Act

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 […]

Who has the mojo, baby?

We at OGIS are always looking for ways to streamline our procedures and we’ve encouraged your input. This time is no different as we seek your support in ginning up some mojo for an OGIS routine use! Yes, an OGIS routine use, as in a Privacy Act system of records routine use. Without getting too technical (or […]

Checking it Twice: Appeals Provide Necessary Second Look

The FOIA process, as with much in life, provides an opportunity to give our actions a second look. After all, most of us don’t file a major report without asking someone to proofread for errors, right? Or walk out the door without one last check in the mirror? FOIA directs that requesters can appeal “any […]