Training

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.

 Email Updates

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 aca.anderson@usdoj.gov.

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 email your name to OIP's Training Staff at DOJ.OIP.FOIA@usdoj.gov. In the subject line of your email, please specify the name of the course and the date you wish to attend the training. If registering multiple individuals, please include email addresses for each individual in the registration message. Once you are registered, you will be sent an email confirming your registration as well as the location of the training.

All sessions, unless otherwise noted, are held in Washington, DC at a DOJ facility and the class size for each course is listed next to the course title below. Once the capacity for each session has been reached, a waiting list will be started and you will be notified of your placement on this list when attempting to register. If space becomes available, you will be sent an email confirming your spot in the class as well as the location of the training. If you are placed on the waitlist, please note that space may not become available until a day or so leading up to the program; OIP’s Training Staff will advise you of any change in your registration status as soon as possible.

 All full-day or multi-day courses generally begin at 9:00 am and end by 4:30 pm.

If you have any questions, please contact OIP's Training Officer at (202) 514-FOIA (3642).


Introduction to the Freedom of Information Act (200 person capacity)

This full-day program provides attendees with a basic overview of the FOIA, including:

  • An overview of the FOIA’s procedural requirements,
  • an overview of FOIA exemptions, and
  • basic principles for processing FOIA requests from start to finish.

This course is intended for:

  • FOIA Professionals with less than 1 year of experience, and
  • agency personnel who work with FOIA only occasionally or need a general familiarity with the FOIA in order to recognize and handle FOIA-related issues.

FY 2016 Date: April 26, 2016


The Freedom of Information Act for Attorneys and Access Professionals (200 person capacity)

This two-day program provides multiple lectures and workshops for a comprehensive overview of the FOIA, including:

  • An overview of the FOIA’s procedural requirements and exemptions,
  • workshops on individual FOIA Exemptions,
  • basic principles for processing FOIA requests from start to finish,
  • the FOIA’s proactive disclosure requirements, and
  • the interface between the FOIA and the Privacy Act.

This course is intended for:

  • FOIA professionals with any level of experience seeking a detailed training all major aspects of FOIA administration, and
  • any other agency professionals who interact with the FOIA as a part of their duties, including paralegals, records managers, and attorneys.

FY 2016 Dates: November 3-4, 2015; January 26-27, 2016; April 12-13, 2016; July 12-13, 2016


Advanced Freedom of Information Act Seminar (200 person capacity)

This full-day program provides lectures and discussions on advanced topics in FOIA administration, including:

  • An update of current policy developments impacting FOIA administration,
  • an overview of recent FOIA court decisions,
  • advanced procedural and exemption considerations.

This course is intended for:

  • FOIA professionals with more than 5 years of experience, and
  • supervisory officials of agency FOIA programs.

FY 2016 Date: May 10, 2016


FOIA Litigation Seminar (100 person capacity)

This full-day program provides lectures and instruction on considerations that arise in the course of FOIA litigation, including:

  • Guidance on successful litigation strategy,
  • advanced litigation considerations, and
  • details on the preparation of Vaughn Indices and declarations.

 This course is intended for:

  • Attorneys who handle FOIA litigation, and
  • FOIA professionals who handle FOIA requests in litigation and/or work on FOIA litigation matters.

FY 2016 date: October 19, 2015


Continuing FOIA Education – NEW COURSE OFFERING (200 person capacity)

This new program provides a discussion of current topics in FOIA administration, including:

  • An update of current legal and policy developments impacting FOIA administration, and
  • an overview of recent FOIA court decisions.

 This course is intended for:

  • FOIA professionals with who have already received FOIA training and who are looking for a refresher on current topics.

FY 2016 Date: June 1, 2016


FOIA Processing Workshop – NEW COURSE OFFERING (50 person capacity)

This new, half-day workshop provides attendees with a hands-on course focused on the procedural requirements involved in processing a FOIA request from start to finish, including:

  • Receipt and acknowledgement of requests,
  • communicating with requesters,
  • searching for and reviewing documents, and
  • preparing final determinations and responses.

This course is intended for:

  • FOIA professionals responsible for processing requests, and
  • reviewers or supervisory officials who review processed requests.

FY 2016 Date: February 17, 2016


 

 

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.

 

Updated August 11, 2015