Both President Obama and the Department of Justice have stressed the importance of agencies working “in a spirit of cooperation” with FOIA requesters. Since their introduction, agency FOIA Requester Service Centers and FOIA Public Liaisons serve as the voice of the agency and provide two channels for the public to use to interact with agencies during the FOIA request process. On August 15th, OIP, in conjunction with the Office of Government Information Services, will be hosting a specialized training event to assist agency personnel in carrying out their responsibilities in these important roles.
FOIA Requester Service Centers typically serve as the first contact at agencies for members of the public when they have questions or are seeking information about how the FOIA works or the status of their requests. The individuals who make up these FOIA Requester Service Centers need to be prepared to discuss their agency's FOIA process and to provide specific details about any given request. In addition, agencies offer the assistance of FOIA Public Liaisons who are tasked by the statute to be supervisory agency officials with the responsibility for “assisting in reducing delays, increasing transparency and understanding of the status of requests, and assisting in the resolution of disputes.”
The FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 reinforced the important role played by FOIA Public Liaisons who, in conjunction with agency FOIA Requester Service Centers, provide an all-important human touch to FOIA administration. By engaging with requesters during the FOIA process and providing contacts to help answer questions or resolve issues that may arise, FOIA Requester Service Centers and FOIA Public Liaisons serve important roles in promoting understanding throughout the lifecycle of a FOIA request.
We hope that you are able to join us for this training, the details of which are:
FOIA Public Liaison and FOIA Requester Service Center Training
Department of Justice Conference Center
145 N Street, NE
August 15, 2016 - 10am to 12pm
This training is open to all FOIA Public Liaisons and FOIA Requester Service Center personnel. Registration is required to attend this training and you will need a picture ID to enter the building.
If you are interested in attending, please e-mail your name and phone number to OIP’s Training Officer at DOJ.OIP.FOIA@usdoj.gov with the subject line “FOIA Public Liaison & FOIA Requester Service Center Training.” If you have any questions regarding this event, please contact OIP's Training Officer at (202) 514-3642.
For those individuals outside of the Washington, DC area who are unable to attend this training, we are planning a teleconference to review the presentation material in the coming weeks. If you are interested in being a part of this teleconference, please send an email to DOJ.OIP.FOIA@usdoj.gov with the subject line “FOIA Public Liaison& FOIA Requester Service Center Training – Teleconference.”