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FOIA Update: Survey Shows Training Needs

FOIA Update
Vol. III, No. 4

Survey Shows Training Needs

The interface between the FOIA and the Privacy Act of 1974, as well as the protection of personal privacy under FOIA Exemptions 6 and 7(C), emerged as prime areas in which FOIA specialists say they need training, according to the results of OIP's recent survey of FOIA and Privacy Act training needs in the Federal Government.

The survey, which was conducted through a questionnaire in the March 1982 issue of FOIA Update, also showed that "recent developments" is another area of high interest.

Courses in which the questionnaire respondents indicated they need training (and the number asking for the course) were as follows: interface of the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act, 93; the Privacy Act, 82; recent developments, 81; protection of personal privacy, 75; administrative procedures, 62; protection of business data, 50; agency deliberative records, 41; interagency exchange of records, 27; classification review, 23; law enforcement records, 23; fees, 17; and redaction of records, 14.

Also noteworthy was that nearly one-third of the respondents expressed a preference for more advanced training. Of the respondents, slightly more than half were attorneys and the rest were FOIA specialists, disclosure officers, paralegals, program directors, management analysts, etc.

While the majority of respondents stated that they had received at least "occasional" FOIA training, 51 said that they had never received training but would like to. Almost all training received was through the Department of Justice's Legal Education Institute, the Office of Personnel Management, or various "in-house" courses.

The results of the survey have been made available to the Department of Justice's Legal Education Institute for use in the planning of future FOIA and Privacy Act training.

Go to: FOIA Update Home Page

Updated August 13, 2014