Vol. I, No. 3
Attorney General, OILP Meet USAs
Attorney General Benjamin R. Civiletti took time out at the recent U.S. Attorneys Conference in Washington to meet with Andrea Sheridan Ordin, U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles and Chairperson of the U.S. Attorneys' Advisory Committee, and Robert L. Saloschin, Director of the Office of Information Law and Policy (OILP), to discuss the importance of FOIA Update in encouraging agency compliance with the Freedom of Information Act.
The Freedom of Information Act has become an increasing concern to U.S. Attorneys, since a major part of the agency FOIA litigation caseload has been transferred to their offices by the Civil Division.
In a speech before the Conference of United States Attorneys on April 14, 1980, Mr. Saloschin stressed the serious need for cooperation among agencies, the U.S. Attorneys Offices, and the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. He outlined some of the assistance and guidance services offered by OILP: FOIA Update, the Freedom of Information Case List--which is presently being revised--and informal consideration on a wide range of FOIA matters. These services are particularly valuable, according to Mr. Saloschin, when novel issues of FOIA law or policy arise. Often OILP will be familiar with an issue that is largely outside the experience of the U.S. Attorneys Office or the agency, and can bring its experience and a government-wide perspective to the controversy.
Mr. Saloschin concluded with the hope that early consultation by agencies and USAs would cut the volume of unnecessary FOIA litigation and enable USAs to defend the remainder more effectively. A phone call to OILP (633-2674) is often the simplest and fastest way to make sure that the position taken in a lawsuit is consistent with the Justice Department's interpretation of FOIA law and policy.
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