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Archive for 'Fees'

Untangling Fees

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 […]

Upcoming Requester Roundtable: Fees and Fee Waivers

The issue of fees can trip up even the most experienced requester and FOIA professional. We all know that it is a tricky issue, but might there be a better way? In our 2013 recommendations, we laid out our plan to discuss the issue of fees and fee waivers with the requester and agency communities; […]

Back to (FOIA) School: Requester Categories vs. Fee Waivers

It’s back-to-school time—you can practically hear the rumbling of school buses and smell the new No. 2 pencils. As students across the country turn their focus from the swimming pool and summer camp toward reading, writing and ‘rithmetic, what better time for us to revisit some FOIA requester basics? FOIA requesters frequently contact OGIS for […]

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 […]

Paying the FOIA bills

FOIA isn’t free, we all know that. The Federal government’s estimated spending on FOIA in 2010 was approximately $416 million. Usually, an agency will process its own FOIA requests by searching for, retrieving and reviewing records. But when an agency has to ask a contractor or even another agency to assist with a request, and […]