Today OIP released the summary and assessment of agencies’ 2018 Chief FOIA Officer Reports. The Chief FOIA Officer Reports, which detail the steps their agencies have taken to embrace the Department of Justice's FOIA Guidelines, serve as a valuable resource for agencies to describe the various initiatives undertaken to improve their administration of the FOIA. This past March marked the ninth year that agency Chief FOIA Officers submitted these reports to the Department of Justice.
OIP’s summary is broken down into five parts detailing the efforts of agencies in each of the five key areas addressed in the Department's FOIA Guidelines:
- Applying the Presumption of Openness,
- Having Effective Systems for Responding to Requests,
- Making Information Available Proactively,
- Utilizing Technology, and
- Reducing Backlogs and Improving Timeliness.
Agencies and the public are encouraged to read both OIP’s summary and each agency’s individual report to learn more about the various efforts and steps taken over the last reporting year to improve the administration of the FOIA across the government.
In addition to the summary, OIP’s 2018 assessment once again provides a visual snapshot of agency efforts in several key areas of FOIA administration. The assessment covers those agencies that received more than 50 requests and distinguishes between high and medium volume agencies, using a five-step scoring system to denote agency success for each milestone. The full assessment including a detailed methodology is available in both an open format and PDF.
Based on the review of the 2018 reports, OIP has included guidance to assist agencies in making further improvements to FOIA administration in the years ahead. This guidance includes encouraging agencies to: strategically manage their backlog, particularly as the government continues to receive record-high numbers of requests; focus on closing their ten oldest consultations; and ensure that the raw data used to compile their Annual FOIA Reports is posted online.
OIP’s yearly assessment is intended to serve as a vehicle to both recognize agency successes and to identify areas where further improvement can be made. You can read OIP’s 2018 Summary and Assessment of Agency Chief FOIA Officer Reports on our Reports page alongside previous summaries and assessments. OIP’s guidance for further improvement based on our review of agency 2018 Chief FOIA Officer Reports is available both as a part of this year’s summary as well as on our Guidance page.