About the National Archives

Welcome remarks at the OGIS 2nd Annual Open Meeting

Good morning.  I’m Debra Wall, Deputy Archivist of the United States. 

This is Second Annual Open Meeting of the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS).   I welcome all of you in attendance here in the William McGowan Theater in the National Archives Building and to those of you watching live on our yoytube channel.

Congress directed OGIS to hold an annual open meeting as part of the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016. This annual meeting is an opportunity for OGIS to inform the public about its reviews and reports, and receive public oral and written comments.

It is also a great opportunity to highlight the services OGIS provides to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requesters and Federal agencies, and to talk about how OGIS has a natural home within NARA.

Making access happen to our nation’s records and connecting with customers are two of the four core goals of the National Archives, and OGIS’s work as the FOIA Ombudsman helps to support and amplify our work towards these goals.

With NARA’s support and encouragement over the past nine years, OGIS has built a robust dispute resolution and compliance program.  Through these programs, OGIS provides invaluable assistance to requesters and agencies by preventing and resolving disputes in the FOIA process, and by identifying procedures and methods to improve FOIA compliance.  As the FOIA Ombudsman, OGIS also plays an important role in educating the public about the FOIA process.

We appreciate your interest in OGIS’s work, and I know the OGIS staff looks forward to hearing and reading the comments you submit.

I will now turn the program over to Alina Semo to provide an update on OGIS’s activities during this past Fiscal Year.