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Archive for 'Ombudsman'

Making “Publicly Available” Records Available

As the government strives to find ways to improve FOIA, proactive disclosure seems to be one strategy that everyone agrees on; if agencies make more information publicly available, people will not need to make FOIA requests for those records. In many cases, this strategy has worked. Thanks to efforts like data.gov and agencies’ FOIA libraries, […]

A Model FOIA Reg

As we’ve written before, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires agencies to have regulations that specify a fee schedule, designate agency components to receive requests and provide for expedited processing. Beyond those requirements, regulations should be a GPS, of sorts, to help both agency FOIA professionals and requesters navigate the FOIA process. Our parent […]

The Department of State launches a new FOIA site

The Department of State received nearly 19,000 FOIA requests in fiscal year 2012 – clearly, people are interested in the agency’s records! To better satisfy the needs of the public, the department has launched a new FOIA website (available at www.foia.state.gov). State designed the website with researchers in mind. It makes already-public information easier to […]

Reboot your e-records knowledge July 24

It would seem that the use of electronic records would simplify the FOIA process; if agencies don’t have to reproduce and redact paper, that’s got to be easier, right? In reality, electronic records raise lots of questions for FOIA programs. For instance: If a requester asks for electronic copies of paper records — requiring the […]

Death breathes new life into some records

We’ve written before about the careful balancing act that Federal agencies must perform when they consider requests for records that contain information about an individual other than the requester—those who work for the government and those who don’t. In most cases, such third-party information will be withheld under Exemption 6 (and possibly Exemption 7(C) if […]