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FOIA Update: Case List Publication Delayed by GPO

FOIA Update
Vol. X, No. 4

Case List Publication Delayed by GPO

The governmentwide distribution of the Justice Department's annual Freedom of Information Case List -- which ordinarily becomes available to all federal agencies during the fall -- has been delayed by several weeks this year due to a publication error by the Government Printing Office.

Each year, the Office of Information and Privacy completes the Case List and its "Justice Department Guide to the FOIA" by the end of September and requests that GPO arrange for publication and distribution as quickly as possible. In addition to the copies printed for OIP's use or for sale to the public by GPO, nearly 4,000 Case List copies are printed for direct GPO distribution to federal agencies who "ride on" the basic printing order. All copies ordinarily are printed for distribution by late October or November.

This year, however, GPO mistakenly failed to include the "ride on" part of the publication order when it contracted with the Case List's printer. Consequently, the Case List copies that had been requested by federal agencies were not printed as part of GPO's regular publication process. Also, because this oversight was not discovered by GPO until after it took delivery of the basic order in November, a separate printing process had to be commenced for the 4,000 "ride on" copies.

Upon learning of this, Case List editor Pamela Maida immediately arranged to have the print negatives forwarded through GPO to facilitate a second printing on an expedited basis. She also has advised all inquiring agencies that a special prepublication copy of this year's "Justice Department Guide" -- which was distributed to more than 500 agency attendees at OIP's "Annual Update Seminar on the Freedom of Information Act" in early October -- is available through OIP in the interim. Unfortunately, GPO now estimates that it will not be able to have the "ride on" copies of the Case List printed and distributed to federal agencies before the end of the year.

As a result, GPO has agreed to new controls over its Case List contracting process to ensure that a mistake such as this does not recur.

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Updated August 13, 2014