OIP regularly conducts training sessions throughout the year on all aspects of the FOIA and on a wide variety of FOIA related topics, including yearly training (offered in connection with the Office of Legal Education), specialized training sessions, as well as public training events, meetings, and town halls. Descriptions of these sessions as well as training materials, such as slide presentations and handouts accompanying OIP’s most popular programs, are provided below. Feel free to contact OIP if your agency is interested in specialized FOIA training.
Electronic FOIA Training Resources
OIP has developed a new suite of FOIA resources designed to train all levels of the federal workforce to understand their FOIA responsibilities. These new resources were developed as part of our commitments in the U.S. Second Open Government National Action Plan, as well as the Department’s Open Government Plan 3.0.
OIP's new collection of training tools are designed to help ensure that these important resources are available for all federal employees -- from the senior executive, to agency program personnel, to the FOIA professionals responsible for processing records for disclosure. These resources are listed below alongside links and instructions for how to access them:
- FOIA Infographic - A one page handout covering FOIA basics for all employees new to the federal workforce.
- Senior Executive Briefing - A short video from the Director of OIP for agency senior executives, providing a general overview of the FOIA and emphasizing the importance of their support to their agency's FOIA program. This video is available on both the Justice Department website (available to view and download) and on the Justice Department's YouTube channel.
- FOIA e-Learning Modules - Two modules designed for use in agency e-Learning systems. The first module is an in-depth course specifically designed for FOIA professionals, addressing all of the major procedural and substantive requirements of the law. The second is a brief module designed for all federal employees that provides a primer on the FOIA and highlights ways in which they can assist their agency in the administration of the law.
To obtain the two FOIA e-Learning modules on CD for direct upload into your agency’s Learning Management System (SCORM 1.2 LMS ready), please contact OIP's Training Coordinator at DOJ.OIP.FOIA@usdoj.gov. Once you are sent the CD, please provide it to your agency’s e-Learning staff as the courses will have to be uploaded into the Learning Management System before they can be taken by agency staff.
If your agency has access to an FTP server that can be used electronically to send you these modules, please contact Andy Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yearly training courses Offered by OIP and OLE
Training is open to federal government employees only and registration is required. To register for any of the training seminars listed above, please e-mail your name to OIP's Training Officer at DOJ.OIP.FOIA@usdoj.gov. In the subject line of your e-mail, please specify the name of the course and the date you wish to attend the training. If you have any questions, please contact OIP's Training Officer at (202) 514-FOIA (3642). All sessions, unless otherwise noted, are held in Washington, DC.
The Freedom of Information Act for Attorneys and Access Professionals
This two-day program is designed for attorneys, FOIA specialists, and other FOIA professionals with limited previous experience working with the FOIA who are now or soon will be working extensively with the Act. This program provides an overview of the FOIA including a discussion of the President’s FOIA Memorandum and the Attorney General’s FOIA Guidelines. This course also provides lectures on the various FOIA exemptions and on procedural issues, as well as a discussion on proactive disclosures and the FOIA fee and fee waiver requirements.
December 2-3, 2014
February 24-25, 2015
May 12-13, 2015
July 14-15, 2015
Advanced Freedom of Information Act Seminar
This seminar is designed for FOIA professionals and legal advisors of all federal agencies. It provides advanced instruction on selected topics under the FOIA, including up-to-date policy guidance and views from the FOIA requester community. This program also serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas useful in dealing with problems that commonly arise in administering the FOIA.
April 15, 2015
June 1, 2015
Introduction to the Freedom of Information Act
This program provides a basic overview of the FOIA for agency personnel who do not specialize in access law. It is designed for those who either work with the FOIA only occasionally or need only a general familiarity with the FOIA in order to recognize and handle FOIA-related problems that may arise in other areas of agency activity.
March 25, 2015
FOIA Litigation Seminar
This course is designed for agency attorneys and FOIA professionals and focuses on the issues that arise when FOIA requests become the subject of litigation. This seminar will provide guidance on successful litigation strategy and will address in detail the preparation of Vaughn Indices and declarations.
October 22, 2014
Specialized Training Seminars
As the government’s lead FOIA policy office, OIP continues to offer specialized training on FOIA matters throughout the year. These training seminars focus on selected FOIA provisions, recent court decisions, and refresher courses on the FOIA’s reporting requirements. Whenever OIP decides to hold a specialized training seminar, there will be an announcement in FOIA Post with details on the type of training and its location.
Public Training Events, Meetings, And Town Halls
OIP holds various types of events, meetings, and town halls, to bring together agency personnel and the requester community. These events help facilitate dialogue between agency FOIA professionals and FOIA requesters in order to make the administration of the FOIA work better for all parties involved. Whenever OIP decides to hold a public training event or meeting, there will be an announcement in FOIA Post with details on the type of event and its location.