Office of Government Information Services (OGIS)

December 10, 2020 - Meeting Minutes (Certified)

The (Freedom of Information Act) FOIA Advisory Committee convened at 10:00 a.m. EST on December 10, 2020, virtually. 

In accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463, 5 U.S.C. App. §§ 1-16, the meeting was open to the public from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Meeting materials are available on the Committee’s website.

Committee members present at the virtual meeting:

  • Alina M. Semo, Director, Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) (Committee Chairperson)
  • Roger Andoh, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Allan Blutstein, America Rising 
  • David Cuillier, University of Arizona 
  • Allyson Deitrick, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Kristin Ellis, U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation 
  • Linda Frye, Social Security Administration
  • Jason Gart, History Associates Incorporated 
  • Alexis Graves, U.S. Department of Agriculture 
  • Loubna W. Haddad, U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Intelligence Agency 
  • Kel McClanahan, National Security Counselors 
  • Michael Morisy, MuckRock  
  • Alexandra Perloff-Giles, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher 
  • Tuan N. Samahon, Villanova University
  • Matthew Schwarz, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • James R. Stocker, Trinity Washington University 
  • Thomas Susman, American Bar Association 
  • Bobak Talebian, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Information Policy 
  • A. Jay Wagner, Marquette University
  • Patricia Weth, National Labor Relations Board

Committee members absent from the meeting:

Not Applicable

Others present or participating in the virtual meeting:

  • David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, NARA
  • Kirsten B. Mitchell, Committee’s Designated Federal Officer, NARA
  • William “Bill” P. Fischer, Director, National Declassification Center, NARA
  • John Powers, Associate Director, Information Security Oversight Office, NARA
  • Martha W. Murphy, Deputy Director, OGIS, NARA
  • Sheela Portonovo, Attorney Advisor, OGIS, NARA
  • Kimberlee Ried, Public Affairs Specialist/OGIS Detailee, NARA
  • Michelle Ridley, WebEx Operator 

Welcome and Announcements 

Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero welcomed the group to the second meeting of the fourth term of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Committee. He stated that today marks the 72nd year since the United Nations adopted its Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Nearly two decades before Congress passed the Freedom of Information Act, the U.N. declared in 1948 that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. That right, the U.N. declared in Article 19, includes the “freedom to speak, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” That freedom is so well enshrined in our American FOIA statute.

He noted his pleasure that the Committee will be discussing the intersection between FOIA and classified records. He then stated that Bill Fischer of the National Declassification Center (NDC) and John Powers of the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), both from the National Archives, will be joining the meeting to give overviews of their work and how it relates to government transparency. Mr. Ferriero went on to state that over the past 18 months, ISOO has engaged with a diverse group of stakeholders and subject matter experts (SMEs) from federal agencies, Congress and civil society groups to gather their recommendations on data collection reform. The desired outcome is to end outdated and ineffective data and information collections about information security programs governmentwide. 

Mr. Ferriero also noted he was proud of the work of the NDC to systemically declassify records including last year’s culmination of the U.S. Declassification Project for Argentina, the largest government-to-government declassification release in United States history. The project resulted in the declassification and release of more than 11,600 records relating to human rights abuses committed in Argentina between 1975 and 1984. Although not tied directly to FOIA, Mr. Ferriero stated this historic release of records affirms the National Archives’ commitment to transparency and illustrates how the NDC and ISOO bring together people and processes to improve declassification and public access to historical records. 

Mr. Ferriero stated he knows much is ahead for the Committee and expressed his pleasure at the formation of the four subcommittees examining process, technology, legislation, and classification. He extended his best wishes for peace and resilience during the season of light.  

Committee Chairperson and OGIS Director Alina Semo welcomed the group and thanked them for attending. She welcomed Kirsten Mitchell, the Designated Federal  Officer,  and expressed her gratitude to the Committee during the challenges of 2020.

Ms. Semo stated there would be time at the end for public comments via WebEx and the YouTube chat function and noted that meeting materials and other related information are available on the OGIS website. She stated patrons can email questions to and that the transcript and video will be available after the meeting. 

She asked that FOIA Advisory Committee members raise their hands to speak and identify themselves by name and affiliation when talking or use the “all panelists” chat function as appropriate. She stated that OGIS staff would monitor for non-verbal cues in the virtual format and noted there would be a 15-minute break at approximately 11:20 a.m.  

Action Item: Tom Susman moved to approve the September 10 minutes. Roger Andoh seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 

Update on Past Recommendations

Ms. Mitchell noted that since 2016 there have been 30 recommendations made to the Archivist by the Committee. She introduced the FOIA Advisory Committee Recommendations Dashboard to track the ongoing work of previous recommendations. This tool provides brief information, correspondence and other related materials. Ms. Mitchell noted some of the recommendations are marked “in process” (those currently being worked on) while others are marked as “pending” and will be tackled as early as 2021. She stated that any significant updates related to the recommendations will be highlighted in The FOIA Ombudsman blog.

Briefing on FOIA and Classified Records

Ms. Semo introduced Bill Fischer of the National Declassification Center and John Powers from the Information Security Oversight Office for a briefing on FOIA and classified records. 

Mr. Powers began his presentationby providing some history of ISOO; the entity was created in 1978 under Executive Order 12065 and was established at the General Services Administration under the auspices of the White House. ISOO was later moved to the National Archives in the mid-1980s. ISOO’s focus is on managing government information and receiving policy guidance from the National Security Advisor (NSA). The ISOO Director is appointed by the Archivist of the United States with approval from the NSA. ISOO functions under two directorates - operations and classification management. There are five executive orders that ISOO has responsibility for within the federal government. For the purposes of today’s presentation Mr. Powers noted he would focus on Executive Order 13526.

Mr. Powers noted that ISOO is primarily responsible for developing and implementing directives, i.e., providing direction to agencies on what the directives mean. He stated ISOO also has an oversight and inspection role with regard to gencies by helping them improve, and collects data from agencies and reports on the results in annual reports, blogs, etc. ISOO’s additional responsibilities include appeals of inter-agency security classification; advising on state/local/tribal/private sector policy; managing the Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) Advisory Council; and the Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB)

Mr. Powers stated the largest part of ISOO’s work is the oversight role to help agencies. This includes onsite inspections and assessments as well as advising on safeguarding and protecting classified information. He also noted ISOO helps federal agencies with their training programs. Mr. Powers shifted to discussing declassification, and noted the rules of which are in Part 3 of Executive Order 13526. This includes direction on how all information is subject to declassification. Mr. Power stated this has forced the creation of the National Declassification Center (which resides under the auspices of the National Archives) which is intended to streamline unnecessary referrals. 

Mr. Powers discussed the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP) which provides the public and users of the classification system with a  forum for further review of classification decisions. He outlined the four key functions of ISCAP which are: to decide on appeals for classification challenges; to approve exemptions to declassification at 25, 50, and 75 years; to decide on mandatory declassification review (MDR) appeals; and to inform senior agency officials and the public of its decisions. Mr. Powers noted the manner in which the ISCAP panel functions is the Bylaws. ISCAP Membership consists of high-level officials of the Departments of Defense, Justice, and State, along with the National Archives, National Security Council, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has temporary membership in some instances on ISCAP. Mr. Powers noted much of the ISCAP activity comes from federal agencies who have not met the time threshold. 

Mr. Powers highlighted that recent ISOO annual reports have focused on the need to modernize information management and information security policies and practices. He noted that many policies are based on a Cold War-era mentality. He noted this is a national security imperative and will require sustained White House leadership and significant technology investment; it will also require new metrics and cost accounting to improve oversight. He stated some current ISOO challenges include over-classification and information sharing and that security education and training have improved, but compliance issues persist. Over 80% of agencies that deal in classified information do not have a performance management critical element for their staffs; and that declassification programs in general are ill-prepared for the digital age onslaught that is forthcoming across the government.  

Last, Mr. Powers shared information about the PIDB which was established by Congress in 2000. The PIDB consists of a total of nine members; currently there are five members. Some of their key functions include: improving classification; declassification; and public access to government information. Since being established the PIDB has submitted five reports to the President of the United States. ISOO provides all administrative and logistical support to the PIDB. Mr. Powers noted that PIDB’s most recent report "A Vision for the Digital Age: Modernization of the U.S. National Security Classification and Declassification System" was intended as a road map to help agencies overcome antiquated culture and processes and get the government to modernize. Mr. Powers noted there are three sections of the report - immediate impact, strategic policy change, and strategic technology change. The “immediate impact” would focus on empowering the NDC along with directing the Secretaries of Defense and Energy and the Director of National Intelligence to develop a joint plan with the Archivist of the United States to modernize classified systems and records management, under the direction of the President of the United States. Mr. Powers also noted the PIDB recommended two additional strategic policy changes including an Executive Agent and an Executive Committee that would be designated with the authority to design and implement a new system; and a push toward using technology to make classification and declassification more precise.

Mr. Powers wrapped up his presentation by noting the upcoming ISOO FY20 annual report will focus on the need for modernization and technology within the federal government. In addition, he shared information about the ISOO and PIDB blogs and websites. 

Dr. Fischer from NDC presented information on its mission and a high-level process flow chartof NDC. He noted that one of Mr. Ferriero’s first actions as Archivist of the United States was establishing the NDC on December 30, 2009.  

Dr. Fischer noted NDC’s vision and work is rooted in Executive Order 13526. He stated its mission and guiding principle is “releasing all we can and protecting what we must.” He noted that collaboration and cooperation of interagency partners is key to NDC’s work.

Dr. Fischer then highlighted several specific aspects of  the high-level process flow chart. He noted that NDC has a responsibility for all permanently historical valuable classified records accessioned into NARA with quality control checks and an assessment of documentation regarding the records. NDC assesses the quality of each accession into NARA, reviews the documentation, and checks the records to ensure a valid Kyl-Lott review was conducted certifying that the records are “highly unlikely” to contain nuclear weapons information.  

NDC works with the originating agency to evaluate a sample of the records. If there are no errors in sampling then the process moves along;  if errors are found then a page-by-page review occurs. If no errors are determined then these materials are put into a Department of Energy (DOE) review per the Kyl-Lott Amendment. After a DOE review, the next stage becomes indexing and withdrawal or the liberation stage in which materials (previously declassified) are eligible to be moved to open stacks for public access. Any material found that needs additional review is withdrawn and sent back to the originating agency for additional review. 

Dr. Fischer noted the bottom half of the process flowchart gets into the micro level of the review process. He noted the Indexing on Demand (IOD) program is part of the priority release process by which the public plays a role in prioritizing records for declassification and that the NDC has a responsibility to the American public to ensure that classified records are reviewed. He stated NDC publishes annually a list of projects available for IOD and allows requesters to help shape the queue with regard to indexing and withdrawal and helps prioritize what is important to the requester community. This allows NDC to get a lot of material reviewed and made available. Under FOIA and MDR, the NDC consults with agencies for a line-by-line review so items can be redacted or released accordingly. 

Dr. Fischer also pointed out that up until recently NDC had been focused on federal agency records. Now NDC will also be taking on the classification review of presidential records found in NARA’s Presidential Libraries. Much of this work was disrupted by COVID-19. NDC will now be responsible for the declassification records at the micro and macro levels. 

Several committee members had questions of Mr. Powers and Dr. Fischer. 

James Stocker asked about possible  revision of the executive order on classification. Specifically he asked who will write the new executive order if and when it is re-written, who will lead it and how will the process work? He also asked about how information is tracked on classification and declassification requests and about FOIA’s  Glomar response. 

Mr. Powers stated all executive orders are done through an interagency process led by the NSC. He noted senior leaders from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Departments of Energy, Justice, and State, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and NARA/ISOO would be a part of that process. He said the process can take six to 18 months depending on the NSC structure. 

To address the second question, Mr. Powers noted they are not at the moment tracking the requests as they work with agencies on how to improve the program. He noted that in talking with stakeholders and civil society groups they do expect to continue to track MDRs, including how many are complete, carried over, etc. On the automated declassification side, up until 2017 this information was being tracked. NDC does not track Glomar responses.  

Mr. Stocker asked if NDC thinks they should track Glomars? 

Mr. Powers stated it is not a government-wide issue but rather  a specific intelligence community issue, typically a CIA concern. He noted they would consider looking into it and suggested Mr. Stocker share it on the PIDB blog. 

Mr. Stocker also asked about the categories of Redacted Data (RD) and Formerly Redacted Data (FRD) and if it would make sense for there to be legislation to change the classification? Would it make the work easier for ISOO?NDC? 

Mr. Powers stated he put in the chat earlier that RD and FRD refers specifically to the 1954 Atomic Energy Act which classifies restricted data as scientific information relating to the development of nuclear weapons. That category of data was removed from that RD category in 1954 as a result of an amendment, and this became “Formerly Restricted Data,” which includes the application of nuclear weapons, including storage sites, how you actually designed the weapon systems to carry a nuclear weapon, etc. 

He noted that currently that category is eliminated, per amended executive orders, and the information has been declassified. Mr. Powers also stated that the FRD term is confusing and there are some reforms that would be helpful. The 1998 Kyl-Lott Amendment requires agencies certify no RD or FRD is in the records. He noted it might be worthwhile to explore further. 

Mr. Stocker noted he was referring to the Restricted and Formerly Restricted Data as things Congress needs to legislate or be changed. He asked, in other words, should they just be made Top Secret or something like that, so that they can be dealt with within the normal channels of declassification, or if that would not necessarily help the declassification of information?

Mr. Powers responded that it is still a law from 1954 and yet it does make sense to legislatively protect specific science information, particularly about how to build an atomic weapon. He noted that although the category of Formerly Restricted Data is confusing to many, there is a process in place at DOE on how the public can request this information be removed from FRD or RD status. He stated that it is still law, but that perhaps it is something that could be worth exploring further.

Kel McClanahan asked how does MDR in every agency, not just NARA, handle information that would be protected by a FOIA exemption? 

Mr. Powers stated the Executive Order is very clear on this: records requested under MDR are required to have an agency review before public release which means they are being reviewed for classification. He noted the records have to be classified to begin with in order to undergo an MDR review. He stated that agencies must also review for other FOIA categories, so that the requestor is getting a publicly released document that has been redacted accordingly. 

Mr. McClanahan asked if an appeal is filed with ISCAP, will ISCAP adjudicate that appeal? 

Mr. Powers stated, perhaps - if it is a recent FOIA response, if it is the same requester and the record was exempted or redacted using FOIA Exemption 1, or if the record has been reviewed in the past two years and it's the same requester, they don't have to do it. He noted that is why at the beginning of the process, requesters must choose either FOIA or MDR. 

Mr. McClanahan asked if the following scenario is accurate: you file an MDR request with CIA for something that is an attorney's memo, the agency claims FOIA  Exemption 5 for attorney-client privilege, you appeal to ISCAP, and ISCAP responds that it has no jurisdiction to adjudicate the exemption usage, only a declassification decision. 

Mr. Powers stated that the hypothetical example is correct. He noted ISCAP will examine it and  determine what is and what is not classified in that record. He stated that would potentially allow the FOIA requester to then use the judicial process.

Mr. McClanahan then asked if ISCAP receives a request like that for a classified record, will the agency process the record for declassification even if they might not release it for other reasons, so that it will be an unclassified privileged document? 

Mr. Powers stated in his view that the agency should process it, and they should be citing all of their reasons for why they are withholding a record, whether it's Exemption 1 or Exemption 5 or other exemptions. He noted that under MDR they are going to make a decision on whether that record is classified or not. Outside of that, it's the purview of the agency. 

Mr. Samahon asked about Executive Order 13526, Section 5.3c in regard to remedies. He stated the provision feels punitive and knowing that there are backlogs, he asked if there is an opportunity to change this process.

Mr. Powers agreed and noted that ISOO’s analysis of MDR programs show that offices are overwhelmed, however FOIA is a law that needs to be followed. He noted that when talking with agencies they are aiming to prioritize FOIA knowing there is a legal action that can be taken. How to impact this change with a 1300+ case backlog is a challenge. Mr. Powers stated he welcomes any ideas on how to address it.

Mr. Susman asked two questions. Is there a role the FOIA Advisory Committee can play in trying to enforce training requirements? And what is the role Congress can play in the classification area? Or is the administration likely to take an historic position that it will be done via executive order and not have Congress intervene? 

Mr. Powers noted as far as legislation goes, the challenge of undoing legislation is harder than issuing an executive order. The executive order does have punitive action for those who do not receive training. In theory, if no training is completed annually then agencies can lose the ability to classify records. He stated what ISOO has found is that agency leaders are quite busy and there are concerns about the quality of the training. ISOO is not staffed sufficiently to go out and provide the direct training but that ISOO offers training slide decks as templates to build their training for agencies. 

The Committee took a 10-minute break.

Subcommittee Presentations/Mission Statements

Classification Subcommittee - Kristin Ellis and James R. Stocker, co-chairs

Ms. Ellis stated the Classification Subcommittee is working on their mission statement and that they are planning to investigate the role of classification in the FOIA process. She noted their most recent discussions have focused on some possible priorities for the Subcommittee boiling it down to a list of seven. Ms. Ellis stated the group had determined they can work on several items at a time and are aiming to work on long-term and short-term priorities. 

Ms. Ellis stated that of the seven priorities, two have been identified for immediate focus. The first is examining how Glomar responses are administered across the government. This will be a research item. The second item is how agencies can proactively declassify documents to better meet the needs of the community, i.e., is there a way to make information more accessible through the MDR process. She noted the group meets again after the holidays. 

Process Subcommittee - Linda Frye and Michael Morisy, co-chairs

Ms. Frye noted the group has been meeting bi-weekly and has begun work on its mission statement. The Process Subcommittee has identified eight recommendations from past FOIA Advisory Committee terms to further explore and assess the likelihood or difficulty to get the recommendations in place. Mr. Morisy shared the draft mission statement with the group. 

Technology Subcommittee - Allyson Deitrick and Jason Gart, co-chairs

Ms. Deitrick stated the group has finished their mission statement and will be exploring the applicability of technology-driven solutions to improve and streamline the FOIA process, as well as review prior FOIA Advisory Committee recommendations. She noted that the group is in the process of reviewing the technology aspects of the work of prior terms of the Committee, and seeing which recommendations could be taken to the next step, which can be added to for full execution along with determining what new priorities and goals that the group may consider. 

Ms. Semo noted the Technology Subcommittee has been coordinating with the Technology Committee of the Chief FOIA Officers Council. 

Legislation Subcommittee - Kel McClanahan and Patricia Weth, co-chairs

Mr. McClanahan stated that the Legislation  Subcommittee is looking at issues related to legislative reform. Originally the group had 13 items from both Committee members and previous FOIA Advisory Committee terms and have now narrowed it down to four key items to examine. He stated the group has not yet developed the mission statement due to the nature of their subcommittee. 

Mr. McClanahan noted the four areas are: expand the scope of FOIA; explore ways to strengthen OGIS; examine FOIA funding (federal appropriations); and improve the FOIA fee process. Ms. Weth invited others on the FOIA Advisory Committee to join them in their work. 

Committee Discussion of COVID-19 Pandemic’s Effect on FOIA Processing

Ms. Semo noted the profound effect that the pandemic has had on all and the challenges of administering FOIA during the pandemic. She stated a desire to focus the discussion among our committee members so everyone could learn more from each other about how the pandemic has impacted the FOIA process at federal agencies and how in turn that has translated to the requester community. Ms. Semo asked Alexis Graves to share some information with the group about the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

Ms. Graves noted the USDA updated its web information to encourage electronic requests and explained hard copy searches would be nearly impossible. She stated the requester community has been amenable knowing they will resume once the pandemic is over. She stated staffing was a concern for USDA and the agency extended core hours so staff could maintain a flexible schedule. In addition, there was concern around checks received for FOIA fees and USDA created a process to ensure those were sent to the Department of the Treasury. Ms. Graves noted that despite these challenges there has been a reduction in backlog and the pandemic has forced the agency to rethink how all operations are handled. 

Roger Andoh shared that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have also changed a few things. He noted they provided web updates and are encouraging FOIA requests electronically, rather than by mail as limited or no staff are onsite to process mail. He noted the CDC has also worked on a solution for payment so requesters do not mail checks for fees, and that CDC rarely charges fees so it has not been a major issue. 

Mr. Andoh noted that given the CDC’s role in the pandemic, there has been a tremendous increase in FOIA requests. Normally they average 1,100-1,200 annually and it jumped to 2,500 requests so far in FY20. The vast majority have been related to COVID. He stated most are complex in nature, as COVID records involve multiple agencies and the White House. Processing these has not been timely and CDC has a backlog of around 300 FOIA requests. He noted in a normal fiscal year, the CDC backlog is around 20 requests. 

Mr. Andoh stated that CDC has changed its processes to ensure more efficiency in moving cases along. In June, the CDC engaged with OGIS to help engage with the requester community via a webinar to ensure requesters understand the CDC FOIA process and how CDC is responding. He noted the agency is relying on technology to respond to requests and looking for documents. Prior to FY20, he said, about 15-20% of all CDC FOIA request searches were conducted by the FOIA office, as of early November over 7,000 CDC staff are now helping in the response process. Mr. Andoh noted this has helped ramp up e-discovery to respond to the public. In addition, he stated CDC has been able to add some additional staff to help with these efforts. And he noted because of the pandemic and number of COVID related requests, they have also seen an increase in litigation cases. 

Mr. McClanahan noted his experiences as a FOIA requester during COVID. He stated some agencies are keeping assignment queues in which requesters are getting sidelined by accident because the FOIA staff person may be out of the office due to the pandemic (illness or quarantine). He also noted other concerns around classified records and the inability of agency staff working from home not able to access the classified materials for review. He asked if someone on the FOIA Advisory Committee could address the concern. 

Loubna Haddad responded to McMcClanahan’s concern. She commented it is less of a problem now than it was six months or so ago. She noted that in regard to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), they are attempting to tackle the issue as much of what requesters are seeking are on classified systems that are not accessible outside of the office. However, DIA does have some staff working again onsite, but not yet at 100% operational. Ms. Haddad noted that it continues to be a challenge, but less so than earlier in the pandemic. 

Ms. Ellis remarked that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has noted the ability to respond had been less of an issue, but that earlier in the week the FOIA office had to dial back onsite staffing to 50% capacity. She noted the vast majority of the records sought by requesters  involve records maintained on classified systems; this drives the need for their staff to physically be in an office/onsite. She stated the FBI FOIA office is looking at other technological solutions and if feasible will pursue them.

Ms. Ellis noted the FBI is doing its best to continue the flow of work as a backlog is already in existence. The FBI litigation load was already high; adding to it does not help. However, the FBI’s hands are tied due to the security nature of the work. She stated they are working to get out information as quickly as they can to requesters. 

Public Comments

Ms. Semo opened the meeting for public comment. 

Robert Hammond asked about a document he submitted for public comment. His first question was in regard to the 2016 FOIA legislation that required a single portal for submitting requests. He asked if it was FOIAonline or 

Bobak Talebian of the Department of Justice stated that it is indeed which was part of the 2016 legislation. He noted FOIAonline is a shared service agencies can use to track and administer requests and has a public facing portal. has a form available that requesters can complete and their request is submitted directly to the agency. Mr. Talebian noted there are interoperability issues with some of the federal agencies and the interface, but that those are being addressed. 

Mr. Hammond noted he’s used both FOIAonline and He stated FOIAonline allows for tracking and viewing on the status of the FOIA request. He noted several deficiencies of the FOIAonline system around the requester name and correspondence as it defaults to an embargo status and hides the information. Mr. Hammond asked that the FOIA Advisory Committee review that aspect. 

Mr. Talebian noted the intent is to keep building upon the portal for better functionality. 

Alex Howard asked what is the committee’s view on federal or state agencies ceasing to process or honor FOIA requests during a state of emergency in the pandemic? He asked what should be the stance of agencies with respect to the FOIA? What should be the stance of others? What provisions can be made to ensure that public access to trustworthy information in a pandemic is not cut off?

Technical difficulties beyond OGIS’s control abruptly interrupted the meeting. It is unclear who heard Ms. Semo’s reminder of the next meeting taking place on March 3 at 10:00 a.m. EST. 

Ms. Semo adjourned the meeting at 12:50  p.m.

I certify that, to the best of my knowledge, the foregoing minutes are accurate and complete on March 3, 2021.

/s/ Kirsten B. Mitchell  
Kirsten B. Mitchell
Designated Federal Officer,
2020-2022 Term

/s/ Alina M. Semo 
Alina M. Semo
2020-2022 Term