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OIP Issues Guidance for 2012 Chief FOIA Officer Reports

OIP has issued guidance on the content of agency 2012 Chief FOIA Officer Reports which are required to be submitted to the Department of Justice each year, in accordance with the Attorney General’s FOIA Guidelines.  As has been done in the past two years, agencies are asked to describe the steps taken to improve transparency in five key areas, specifically:  1) the steps taken to apply the presumption of openness; 2) the steps taken to ensure that the agency has an efficient and effective system in place for responding to requests; 3) steps taken to increase proactive disclosures; 4) steps taken to improve use of technology;  and 5) steps taken to reduce any backlogs and improve timeliness in responding to requests.

The specific items to be addressed in 2012 for each of the five key areas have been refined and updated.  Agencies should review the elements now to facilitate their planning for the next six months.  For 2012 there is a new stand-alone reporting requirement that asks agencies to state how many times, if any, they employed any of the FOIA’s statutory “exclusions.”   Lastly, as was done last year, agencies are asked to highlight a particular success story relating to transparency that was accomplished since the filing of last year’s report.

*November 9, 2011: To be of further assistance to agencies in the preparation and completion of their 2012 Chief FOIA Officer Reports, we have included a template for the report with this updated article.

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