Office of Government Information Services (OGIS)

About OGIS

Accordion

Semo-photoIn December 2016, Alina M. Semo became the Director of the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), the Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) ombudsman’s office, which is part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

Prior to joining OGIS, Ms. Semo served as the Director of Litigation in NARA's Office of General Counsel for two and a half years. Before coming to NARA, Ms. Semo led the FOIA Litigation Unit in the Office of the General Counsel at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for over ten years, and also served as an Assistant General Counsel in the Litigation Branch for nearly five years. Ms. Semo began her federal government career as a Department of Justice trial attorney and later senior counsel in the Federal Programs Branch, Civil Division, from 1991 to 1999, and from 1988 to 1991 worked as an associate at Hopkins & Sutter in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Semo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law School; she is licensed in the District of Columbia and Maryland.

Contact Information

Alina M. Semo
Director
E-mail:   alina.semo@nara.gov
Phone:   202-741-5771

FY 2018The Freedom of Information Act Ombudsman—Past, Present & Future (Published March 2019)

FY 2017Building a Better FOIA Process (Published March 2018)

FY 2016Building a Better FOIA Process  (Published March 2017)

FY 2015Building a Better FOIA Process  (Published March 2016)

FY 2014Building a Bridge Between FOIA Requesters and Federal Agencies (Published March 2015)

FY 2013Building a Bridge Between FOIA Requesters and Federal Agencies (Published March 2014)

FY 2012Building a Bridge Between FOIA Requesters and Federal Agencies (Published March 2013)

FY 2011 Building Bridges Between FOIA Requesters and Federal Agencies (Published March 2012)

FY 2010Building Bridges Between FOIA Requesters and Federal Agencies (Published March 2011)

Reviews

FY 2011 OGIS Mid-Year Review (Oct 2010 - Mar 2011)

FY 2011 OGIS Snapshot (Oct  2010 - Jan 2011)

September 2010: OGIS First Year in Review

Telephone: 

Main: 202-741-5770

Main Toll-Free: 1-877-684-6448

If we do not immediately answer your call, please leave us a voicemail message clearly stating you name, contact information, the reason for your call, and your OGIS case number (if you have one). We will return your call as quickly as possible. Due to an increase in demand for our mediation services, there may be a delay in our responses to phone calls and emails. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.


Email:

ogis@nara.gov


By Mail:

National Archives and Records Administration
Office of Government Information Services
8601 Adelphi Road - OGIS
College Park, MD 20740-6001


By Fax:

202-741-5769

Alina M. Semo
Director
Email: alina.semo@nara.gov
Phone: 202-741-5771

Martha Murphy
Deputy Director
Email: martha.murphy@nara.gov
Phone: 202-741-5772

Sheela Portonovo
Attorney Advisor
Email: sheela.portonovo@nara.gov
Phone: 202-741-5776

Carrie McGuire
Mediation Team Lead
Management and Program Analyst
Email: carrie.mcguire@nara.gov
Phone: 202-741-5774

Kirsten Mitchell
Compliance Team Lead
Management and Program Analyst
Email: kirsten.mitchell@nara.gov
Phone: 202-741-5775

Teresa A. Brady
Administrative Assistant
Email: teresa.brady@nara.gov
Phone: 202-741-5770

Dwaine Bacon
Mediation Team
Management and Program Analyst
Email: dwaine.bacon@nara.gov
Phone: 202-741-5778

Jessie Hartman
Mediation Team
Management and Program Analyst
Email: jessica.hartman@nara.gov
Phone: 202-741-5782

Christa Lemelin
Compliance Team
Management and Program Analyst
Email: christa.lemelin@nara.gov
Phone: 202-741-5773

Vacant
Compliance Team
Management and Program Analyst
Email:
Phone:

Our goals align with the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA's) 2018-2022 Strategic Plan(February 2018)

We strive to:

  • Provide quality ombudsman services to all.
    Supports NARA Goal 1: Make Access Happen; NARA Goal 2: Connect with Customers
     
  • Provide dispute resolution services to FOIA requesters and Federal agencies.
    Supports NARA Goal 1: Make Access Happen; NARA Goal 2: Connect with Customers
     
  • Improve our understanding of FOIA administration by expanding our review of FOIA policies and procedures.
    Supports NARA Goal 1: Make Access Happen; NARA Goal 2: Connect with Customers
     
  • Identify and communicate methods and strategies to improve FOIA compliance.
    Supports NARA Goal 1: Make Access Happen; NARA Goal 2: Connect with Customers
     
  • Manage OGIS programs to ensure OGIS fulfills its mission.
    Supports NARA Goal 1: Make Access Happen; NARA Goal 3: Maximize NARA’s Value to the Nation
     
  • Increase our impact through outreach, education, and training.
    Supports NARA Goal 1: Make Access Happen; NARA Goal 2: Connect with Customers
     
  • Build OGIS staff expertise through targeted professional development.
    Supports NARA Goal 4: Build our Future through our People

Vision: Our vision is a Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process that works for all stakeholders.

Mission: As the Federal FOIA Ombudsman, OGIS resolves FOIA disputes, identifies methods to improve compliance with the statute, and educates our stakeholders about the FOIA process.

Values:

  • Transparency: Access to agency records improves public understanding of the government’s actions.

  • Collaboration: An open and inclusive FOIA process based on respect and communication benefits the FOIA community

  • Effectiveness: Our authorities and resources improve the administration of FOIA.

  • Learning: Listening to stakeholders and improving understanding of FOIA helps us fulfill our mission.

You may address your press inquiries to the National Archives and Records Administration's Public Affairs Staff at the following:

National Archives and Records Administration
Room G-1, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20408

Telephone: 202-357-5300

Fax: 202-357-5999

Email: public.affairs@nara.gov

 

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