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FOIA Update: Agency Coordination Essential

FOIA Update
Vol. VII, No. 1

Agency Coordination Essential

Sound administrative practice under the FOIA calls for agencies to consult with one another and to coordinate their responses wherever the circumstances warrant.

This general rule, however, becomes an imperative one when agencies are confronted with an extensive series of related FOIA requests such as those filed by The National Security Archive or its affiliated individuals, particularly Scott Armstrong. In keeping with its statutory responsibility to promote proper and uniform FOIA practices by all agencies, the Office of Information and Privacy makes special efforts to coordinate agency responses to such extraordinary FOIA requests.

Over the past year, OIP has on several occasions gathered the principal FOIA officers of the agencies processing Armstrong-related requests in order to facilitate the coordination of individual agency responses to them. A central concern at these meetings has been, and continues to be, the proper application of the FOIA's fee and fee waiver provisions to these requests; OIP makes every effort to ensure particularly uniform agency responses in this area.

Thus, agencies should take pains to coordinate their related FOIA activities to the greatest extent possible, especially in the case of large-scale requests, and OIP attorneys stand available to aid this coordination process. Any question regarding Armstrong-related requests or fee issues should be directed to OIP's fee and fee waiver specialist, staff attorney Joan S. van Berg, at (FTS) 724-6683.

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Updated August 13, 2014