Join the Department of Justice for its Annual Kickoff of Sunshine Week

January 17, 2017

Monday, March 13th is the first day of Sunshine Week 2017 and the Department of Justice invites agency personnel and members of the public to join us as we kickoff this important week with our annual Sunshine Week FOIA awards presentation and a special meeting of the FOIA IT Working Group.

At the kickoff event, the Department of Justice will once again recognize the contributions of FOIA professionals from around the government with the presentation of our Sunshine Week FOIA Awards. As the Supreme Court declared, “[t]he basic purpose of [the] FOIA is to ensure an informed citizenry, vital to the functioning of a democratic society . . . .” Agency FOIA professionals are themselves vital to ensuring that the important purpose of this law is fulfilled and we are pleased and honored to celebrate the work of these individuals from around the government. For this year’s event, OIP is seeking nominations for three categories of awards:

  • Exceptional Service by a FOIA Professional or Team of FOIA Professionals,
  • Outstanding Contributions by a New Employee, and
  • Lifetime Service Award.

Details on how to submit your nominations are listed below. Nominations can be submitted by agencies or by a member of the public. All nominations are due to OIP by Friday, February 17th. Awardees will be recognized during the Department’s 2017 kickoff event on Monday, March 13th. This event will also feature a keynote presentation from the Department of Justice.

As part of this year’s Sunshine Week Kickoff Event, the Department will also be holding a special meeting of the FOIA IT Working Group. Over the past several years, technology has been a key area of advancement in agency FOIA administration and we look forward to a robust panel discussion on various efforts to leverage new technology solutions in the FOIA process. Since its creation, the FOIA IT Working Group has served as a forum for agency personnel to discuss areas of FOIA that have or could benefit from the application of technology tools. This meeting will also feature a discussion of areas or topics that the Working Group should address in the future.

The details for this event, which is open to all agency personnel and members of the public, are:

Department of Justice Sunshine Week 2017 Celebration and FOIA IT Working Group Meeting
Robert F. Kennedy Building – Great Hall
10th and Constitution Ave NW
March 13, 2017, 10:00 am – Noon

You will need a picture ID to enter the building.

We hope that you can join us for this year’s celebration. If you are interested in attending this event, you can register by e-mailing your name and phone number to OIP’s Training Officer at, with the subject “Department of Justice Sunshine Week 2017 Event.” If you have any questions regarding this meeting, please contact OIP at (202) 514-FOIA (3642).

Department of Justice Sunshine Week Awards

Submission Guidelines

All agency personnel are eligible for the awards listed below. These personnel can include Government Information Specialists, supervisors, FOIA attorneys, or FOIA administrative specialists.

We invite nominations for these awards from agencies as well as members of the public. Agency submissions should be made by the agency’s principal FOIA contact, FOIA supervisor, or Chief FOIA Officer.

Nominations must include:

  • The full name, title, agency (or organization if applicable), and contact information for the person submitting the nomination,
  • The name(s) of the individual(s) they are nominating,
  • The award category that best reflects the nominee(s)’ accomplishments,
  • A summary, not to exceed two single-spaced pages, that describes the nominee’s or group’s accomplishments, why the individual or group should receive the award, what they have done that sets them apart, and how their actions benefited FOIA administration, and
  • A short abstract (100 words or less) that briefly outlines the nominee’s accomplishments.

Nominations must be submitted to with the subject line “2017 Sunshine Week FOIA Award Nomination” by February 17, 2017.

Award Categories

Award for Exceptional Service by a FOIA Professional or Team of FOIA Professionals

Recognizing exemplary performance by a FOIA professional or team of FOIA professionals in carrying out the agency’s administration of the FOIA. This award recognizes those individuals or teams whose exceptional contributions have significantly benefited FOIA administration. These benefits could include increased efficiency, greater use of technology, reduced backlogs, improved timeliness, and increased proactive disclosures.

Award for Outstanding Contributions by a New Employee

Recognizing exceptional performance and notable contributions in carrying out the agency’s FOIA responsibilities by a new employee with fewer than three years of work in FOIA.

Lifetime Service Award

Recognizing an agency FOIA professional with at least 20 years of work in FOIA administration who has demonstrated high standards of excellence and dedication in the administration of the FOIA throughout their career.


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Updated January 17, 2017