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Archive for 'FOIA Public Liaisons'

Giving Thanks

In this season of reflection and good cheer, we at OGIS are giving thanks for some improvements we have seen recently in the FOIA world: While backlogs remain a significant problem, agencies are making strides in reducing them—they are down 45% in five years—even as requests increase and staffing decreases. OGIS constantly beats the drum […]

Upcoming OGIS Training Session: Developing Dispute Resolution Skills

Do you find yourself flummoxed when faced with an angry FOIA requester? Do you regularly take “no” for an answer from your agency’s program people? We can help! OGIS will present a training session designed to help FOIA professionals develop dispute resolution skills on Monday, December 9, 2013 at the Archives building on Constitution Ave […]

Scoping Out a Successful FOIA Request

Describing the scope of a FOIA request — and on the agency’s side, interpreting the scope of that request — often feels like more art than science. Requesters naturally describe requests in expansive terms to be sure that they don’t exclude potentially valuable information. On the other hand, agency FOIA staffers often feel like they […]

How to Invite a FOIA Lawsuit

In the course of our work as the FOIA Ombudsman, we regularly hear from agencies and requesters about FOIA practices that work well. We also hear about practices that don’t work as well. Too often, such problems result in legal action by requesters. We have observed that the following agency practices can be “litigation invitations”: […]

Giving Thanks

In this season of thankfulness, OGIS offers a short list of things to be thankful for (aside from not-from-a-can creamed corn, pumpkin cheesecake and homemade (beer) biscuits that will grace tables of OGIS staffers this Thanksgiving). In no particular order, OGIS is thankful for: FOIA itself. Right-to-know laws and constitutional provisions in 105 countries around […]