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FOIA Update: National Performance Review FOIA Activities at the Justice Department

FOIA Update
Vol. XV, No. 3

National Performance Review FOIA Activities at the Justice Department

The following is an excerpt from a Justice Department memorandum that describes its ongoing National Performance Review activities pertaining to the FOIA:

"In April, the Attorney General announced that she had selected a Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts project as one of the Department's laboratories under the Vice President's National Performance Review (NPR). The laboratory group has been tasked to focus on both near and long-term measures to improve our FOI/PA responses. Its goal is to provide better service to the public by elevating all Department employees' awareness of the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts, by improving the FOI/PA processing, and by facilitating the sharing of information, technology, and systems.

"The laboratory is made up of both FOI/PA access professionals and technical support specialists from the Bureau of Prisons, Civil Division, Criminal Division, [DEA, EOUSA, FBI, INS], and the United States Marshals Service. The Justice Management Division's Systems Policy and Management and Planning Staffs, the Justice Performance Review Team, the Office of Public Affairs, and the Office of Information and Privacy are providing special assistance.

"One of the lab efforts included, in accordance with the President's Executive Order 12862 (Setting Customer Service Standards), a survey of over 5,000 FOI/PA requesters. . . . The laboratory will use the results of this survey to identify means by which we can improve the Department's performance. In addition, as a result of several focus groups held this summer, draft FOI/PA customer service standards were developed. . . . The laboratory is also analyzing current processing procedures in order to streamline the FOI/PA process and create a more efficient and timely response to the requester community. . . . Another major feature of this initiative was the creation of a Department test site at FBI Headquarters which will provide all [Justice Department] components with the opportunity to ex- periment with the application of technology to the FOI/PA process."

Anyone wanting to learn more about this Justice Department NPR activity can contact either Steve McPeak of Justice's NPR staff or OIP Deputy Director Peggy Irving.

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Updated August 13, 2014