OIP Guidance

Agency Annual FOIA Report Submissions to OIP Due December 5, 2011

Agency Fiscal Year 2011 Annual FOIA Report submissions are due to OIP for review by December 5, 2011.  Similar to last year, each agency should submit (1) a human-readable Report; and (2) data in the specified machine-readable format. Each agency’s machine-readable Report must be provided in the NIEM-XML format developed by the Department of Justice to ensure electronic compatibility between reports and for uploading onto FOIA.Gov

OIP will review each agency's submission, however, each agency is ultimately responsible for the content of its own Annual FOIA Report.  After OIP reviews an agency’s submission, it will either clear the Report for posting, or provide instructions if certain issues need to be resolved.  Once cleared by OIP, agencies should post both the human-readable and the XML versions of their Annual FOIA Report on their FOIA website. The Reports will also be posted on DOJ's centralized Annual FOIA Report link.  Lastly, all Annual FOIA Report data will also be uploaded onto FOIA.Gov

Required NIEM-XML Version of Annual FOIA Report

To produce the required NIEM-XML file, please download the updated tool and accompanying documentation from http://tools.niem.gov/niemtools/iepdt/display/container.iepd?ref=WQ1wZ-5CFBM.  Agencies must use this new version of the tool, which has been updated from last year’s version.  Using this tool, agencies may produce the NIEM-XML version of their Report in one of two ways:  (1) by manually populating the updated Excel template (see "Attachment 1, Manual Entry"); or (2) by modifying their agency's FOIA tracking system to directly export information into the NIEM-XML file (see "Attachment 2, Direct Exporting").  Each agency’s IT support can best identify which option to use and can assist in the technical aspects of producing the NIEM-XML document. 

The data in the human-readable version the Report must be consistent with the data in the NIEM-XML document.  If an agency manually enters data into the Excel template, it will perform certain checks to ensure consistency of the data.  If an agency directly exports data into the specified NIEM-XML file, it can upload this file into the template to utilize these checks.  Because of these built-in math checks in the Excel template, OIP strongly recommends that agencies verify their data in the template before creating their human-readable Report.  If in the course of review it is determined that certain changes must be made, the agency will need to revise both the human-readable version of the Report and the data in the NIEM-XML document.  OIP's Annual FOIA Report guidance is available at http://www.justice.gov/oip/foiapost/guidance-annualreport-052008.pdf.

It is very important that no cell in the Excel template is blank. If an agency has no data to report in a particular cell, “0” should be entered or “N/A” where the spreadsheet indicates. If an agency directly exports its data into the NIEM-XML file, please upload this file into the template to ensure that no cell is blank.

Finally, if an agency does not categorize its perfected requests into the three tracks specified in the NIEM-XML format (simple, complex, and expedited), please see the attached guidance for completing Section VII (see "Attachment 3, Section VII Guidance for NIEM-XML").

Submission Details

What: Agency Fiscal Year 2011 Annual FOIA Report in a (1) human-readable Report and (2) data in the specified NEIM-XML format
When: By Monday, December 5, 2011
How: Email submission to DOJ.OIP.FOIA@usdoj.gov.  The subject line should read [insert agency name] FY11 Annual FOIA Report.

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact OIP’s Annual FOIA Report team at 202-514-3642.