Join us for DOJ’s Annual Kickoff of Sunshine Week

February 2, 2018

Monday, March 12th is the first day of Sunshine Week 2018 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 Best Practices Workshop.

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 five categories of awards:

  • Exceptional Service by a FOIA Professional or Team of FOIA Professionals,
  • Outstanding Contributions by a New Employee,
  • Exceptional Advancements in the Area of IT to Improve the Agency’s FOIA Administration,
  • Exceptional Achievements by an Agency or Team of Professionals at an Agency to Advance the Proactive Disclosure of Information; 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 16th. Awardees will be recognized during the Department’s 2018 kickoff event on Monday, March 12th. This event will also feature a keynote presentation from the Department of Justice.

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

Department of Justice Sunshine Week 2018 Celebration and Best Practices Workshop
Robert F. Kennedy Building – Great Hall
10th and Constitution Ave NW
March 12, 2018, 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 through Eventbrite. If you have any questions regarding this meeting, please contact OIP’s Compliance Team at (202) 514-FOIA (3642).

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 sends e-mail) with the subject line “2018 Sunshine Week FOIA Award Nomination” by February 16, 2018.

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.

Exceptional Advancements in the Area of IT to Improve the Agency’s FOIA Administration

Recognizing exceptional achievements in greater utilizing technology to make information more accessible.  These efforts could include the implementation of new and advanced technologies to increase efficiencies as well as to improve proactive disclosures and the online availability of information. 

Exceptional Achievements by an Agency or Team of Professionals at an Agency to Advance the Proactive Disclosure of Information

Recognizing exceptional achievements by an agency or team of professionals at the agency to proactively make more information available online.  These efforts can include both the posting of more information online and steps taken to make that information more useful to the public.

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.


Related blog posts

Updated February 16, 2018