Yesterday, OIP Director Melanie Ann Pustay announced the rollout of a new suite of FOIA training tools designed to ensure that all agencies have important FOIA resources available to them, reinforcing Attorney General Holder’s message that "FOIA is everyone's responsibility."
As President Obama declared on his first full day in office, "the [FOIA], which encourages accountability through transparency, is the most prominent expression of a profound national commitment to ensuring an open Government." The foundation of any successful FOIA operation is that all federal employees within the agency have a proper understanding of the law and their unique roles in its implementation.
OIP's new collection of training tools is designed to help ensure that all levels of the federal workforce have training tools available to them on the FOIA. The new training tools include:
- An infographic that can serve as a resource on FOIA basics for all employees new to the federal workforce;
- A brief video from Director Pustay aimed at senior government executives, providing a general overview of the FOIA and emphasizing the importance of their support to their agency’s FOIA program;
- An e-Learning training module for all federal employees that provides a primer on the FOIA and highlights ways in which they can assist their agency in administering the law; and
- An in-depth e-Learning training module specifically designed for FOIA professionals which addresses all the major procedural and substantive requirements of the law, as well as the importance of customer service.
Both the infographic and executive video can be found on the training page of OIP's website. Agencies can request a SCORM 1.2 LMS ready copy of the FOIA e-Learning courses on CD by contacting OIP's Training Coordinator at DOJ.OIP.FOIA@usdoj.gov with the subject line “Request for e-Learning Modules.” Agency e-Learning staff that would like to electronically receive the courses via an FTP server or other means should contact Andy Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The new training tools were very well received yesterday by many representatives from across the federal government who joined us in the Great Hall of the Department of Justice's Robert F. Kennedy Building. You can read more about the event and this new resource in an article posted today by Federal News Radio. You can also listen to the interview with OIP Director Pustay in which she outlines the new training tools, describes the rewards and challenges of administering FOIA today, and looks forward to exciting new developments for 2015.