Kick off Sunshine Week with a Celebration of FOIA Professionals

February 5, 2015

Sunshine Week 2015 begins March 16th and the Department of Justice once again invites agency personnel and members of the public to join us as we kick off the week. For 2015 the Department of Justice is focusing its celebration on the many contributions made by FOIA professionals in the implementation of this important law.

Attorney General Holder recognized the critical importance of FOIA professionals in his FOIA Guidelines. As he noted, these individuals are “responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the Act” and “deserve the full support of the agency’s Chief FOIA Officer.” Each year, FOIA professionals from across the government work with their agency colleagues to uphold our nation’s commitment to open government through the effective administration of the FOIA.

In the years since the issuance of the FOIA Guidelines, agencies have taken concrete steps and shown great progress in improving their FOIA administration, including processing increasing numbers of FOIA requests, proactively disclosing more records online, and implementing new technologies to more efficiently meet increasing demands. These, and may other agency achievements over the years, are attributable to the hard work of FOIA professionals from across the government.

This year’s Sunshine Week event will celebrate the contributions of these FOIA professionals with awards recognizing their service. The event will also feature a keynote address from the Department of Justice.

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

Department of Justice Sunshine Week 2015 Celebration
Robert F. Kennedy Building - Great Hall
10th and Constitution Ave NW
March 16, 2015, 10:00 am - Noon

You will need a picture ID to enter the building.

Nominations for the various awards, with submission guidelines and categories listed at the end of this post, can be submitted to the Office of Information Policy up until Monday, March 2nd.

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 Coordinator at DOJ.OIP.FOIA@usdoj.gov with the subject line “Sunshine Week 2015 Celebration.” If you have any questions regarding this event, please contact our office at (202) 514-3642.

 

Department of Justice Sunshine Week FOIA Awards

Submission Guidelines

Eligible employees for these awards are all agency FOIA professionals. This can include Government Information Specialists, FOIA attorneys, or FOIA administrative specialists.

We invite nominations for these awards from agency professionals as well as members of the public and open government community.

Anyone submitting a nomination must provide: 

  • Their full name, title, agency or organization (if applicable), and an e-mail address,
  • The name(s) of the individual(s) they are nominating, and
  • the award category that best reflects the nominee’s accomplishments.

Each nomination must be accompanied by:

  • a letter, 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
  • an abstract (100 words or less) that briefly outlines the nominee’s accomplishments.

Submissions can be made to DOJ.OIP.FOIA@usdoj.gov using the subject line “2015 Sunshine Week FOIA Award Nomination.”

Award Categories

Award for Exceptional Service by a FOIA Professional

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

Award for Exceptional FOIA Service by a Team of Agency Professionals

Recognizing exemplary performance by a team of agency professionals. This award recognizes the outstanding performance by a team of employees, which can include a team within the FOIA office or a collaborative team between agency programmatic offices, in carrying out the agency’s administration of the FOIA.

Lifetime Service Award

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

Award for Excellence in Management

Recognizing outstanding performance in managerial achievements in the agency’s administration of the FOIA which have significantly improved operations, productivity, or reduced costs.

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 Federal service.

Award for Outstanding Customer Service

Recognizing outstanding performance in customer service by an agency FOIA professional.

Topic(s): 
FOIA
Open Government

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Updated February 10, 2015