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FOIA Training Opportunities, Fiscal Year 2005


The Department of Justice's Office of Information and Privacy, in conjunction with the Department's National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina, offers four different training programs on the Freedom of Information Act. The schedule for Fiscal Year 2005 is as follows:

The Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act for Attorneys and Access Professionals

The first two days of this basic training program are designed for attorneys, paralegals, and information officers with limited previous experience under the FOIA who are now or soon will be working extensively with the Act. Workshops on FOIA exemptions emphasize the criteria for making information-disclosure determinations, and procedural issues are addressed as well. The third day of the program deals with the Privacy Act of 1974, addressing such matters as definitions, restrictions on disclosure, requests for record access and amendment, and fair information practices. Attendance on all three days is required for programs conducted in Columbia, South Carolina. For programs conducted elsewhere, the FOIA and Privacy Act sessions may be attended separately.

November 16-18, 2004, Albuquerque, N.M.
November 30-December 2, 2004, Washington, D.C.
February 15-17, 2005, Washington, D.C.
April 13-15, 2005, Columbia, S.C. cancelled due to unanticipated budget cuts at the National Advocacy Center
June 15-17, 2005, Columbia, S.C. rescheduled for June 28-30 in Washington, D.C.

Advanced Freedom of Information Act Seminar

This seminar is designed for the principal legal and administrative FOIA officers of all federal agencies and major agency components, or their designees. It provides advanced instruction on selected substantive and procedural topics under the FOIA, including up-to-date policy guidance. It also serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas useful in dealing with problems that commonly arise in administering the Act. The seminar includes sessions on such topics as recent FOIA decisions, selected procedural issues, FOIA from the nongovernment perspective, administrative and litigation considerations, and current policy issues. Registration is limited to no more than 45 attendees, all of whom should have attended the Department of Justice's basic two-day FOIA course.

December 7, 2004, Washington, D.C.
June 1, 2005, Washington, D.C.

Freedom of Information Act Administrative Forum

This program is designed for agency FOIA personnel who have several years of experience with the FOIA and are involved in the processing of FOIA requests on a daily basis. It is devoted almost entirely to administrative matters arising under the Act -- such matters as record-retrieval practices, multitrack queue usage, backlog management, affirmative disclosure, and automated record processing. Designed to serve also as a regular forum for the governmentwide exchange of ideas and information on matters of FOIA administration, this program brings veteran FOIA processors from throughout the government together and encourages them to share their experience in administering the Act. The program also includes an overview of recent case law pertaining to the processing of FOIA requests.

December 8, 2004, Washington, D.C.
June 2, 2005, Washington, D.C.

Introduction to the Freedom of Information Act

This half-day 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 working familiarity with the FOIA in order to recognize and handle FOIA-related problems that may arise in other areas of agency activity. Topics include resource materials, background and legislative history, disclosure mandates, exemptions to mandatory disclosure, administrative considerations, and the relationship of the FOIA to the Privacy Act of 1974.

November 3, 2004, Washington, D.C.
May 11, 2005, Washington, D.C.
August 3, 2005, Washington, D.C.

To find further information about these seminars, including application requirements and registration information, go to National Advocacy Center, click on "Courses sorted by topic," and click on "FOIA" or scroll down to "FOIA Programs." For enrollment information, return to the National Advocacy Center's home page and click on "Procedures to attend a course."


Freedom of Information Act training programs are also sponsored by the USDA Graduate School and the American Society of Access Professionals. These links can be used for these programs.

For programs offered by the USDA Graduate School:
1. Click on "Course Catalog/Registration."
2. Enter "Freedom" as the keyword. Click on "Search," or choose to limit your search geographically and then click on "Search."

For programs offered by the American Society of Access Professionals, check for any course offering on ASAP's home page by using the above link.  (posted 8/27/04; supplemented 9/20/04 and 3/3/05)

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