FOIA Post (2010): Summaries of New Decisions -- March 2010

May 4, 2010

FOIA Post

OIP Convening Two FOIA Working Groups

Agency FOIA professionals typically find that working collaboratively and sharing experiences with fellow access professionals can be quite beneficial. To facilitate the exchange of ideas and information between agencies, OIP is convening two FOIA Working Groups. As agencies enter into their second year of work in improving the administration of the FOIA in accordance with the President's Memorandum on the FOIA and the Attorney General's FOIA Guidelines, this is an appropriate time for agencies to build on the successes of one another.

The first working group will address the critical area of use of technology. This is a key component to improving the ease of making requests and responding to them, as well as to improving each agency's ability to monitor their performance and prepare not only Annual FOIA Reports, but also interim reports as may be directed by the Attorney General. As President Obama emphasized, "[a]ll agencies should use modern technology to inform citizens about what is known and done by their Government." The Technology Working Group will be a forum for agencies to exchange ideas and experiences in utilizing technology to improve administration of the FOIA.

The second working group will address FOIA best practices. As Attorney General Holder stressed in his FOIA Guidelines, "[o]pen government requires not just a presumption of disclosure but also an effective system for responding to FOIA requests." In their Chief FOIA Officer Reports agencies outlined steps taken and changes made to facilitate disclosure of information and to improve transparency. As with utilization of technology, the sharing of ideas between agencies will help ensure that the best ideas are not only known and shared between agencies, but also improved upon. The Best Practices Working Group will be a forum for agencies to share successful strategies for facilitating access to records and increasing proactive disclosures.

The details for the first meeting of each of these working groups are set out below.

Technology Working Group

When: Thursday, June 10, 2010
Where: Office of Information Policy
Suite 11050
1425 New York Avenue, NW
Time: 10:00 - 12:00 noon

Best Practices Working Group

When: Thursday, July 15, 2010
Where: Office of Information Policy
Suite 11050
1425 New York Avenue, NW
Time: 10:00am - 12:00 noon

To facilitate the exchange of ideas, space will be limited to approximately forty individuals. Please register in advance for either of these FOIA Working Groups with OIP's Training Officer, Bertina Adams Cleveland, at (202) 514-1010. (posted 05/04/2010)

Go to: Main FOIA Post Page

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