Office of Government Information Services (OGIS)

Introduction to the Committee By-Laws and Responsibilities

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Committee, 2020-2022 term


  • Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552
  • Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App.
  • Government in Sunshine Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552b

Emails: All Committee — and Subcommittee — emails must include the FOIA Advisory Committee email for record-keeping purposes:

Charter and By-Laws:

Committee: studies the federal FOIA landscape and advises the Archivist of the United States on recommended improvements to the administration of FOIA.

Subcommittees: two co-chairs, one government member and one non-government representative member 

Quorum = two-thirds of Committee members (13 members)

Public comment: Meetings must be open to the public and public must be permitted to present oral public comments unless otherwise noted in the Federal Register. Written comments may be submitted at any time. 

Voting: Any Committee member, including the Chairperson, may make a motion. No second required, but appreciated. 

  • Unanimous Decision: every member present who has cast a vote
  • General Consensus: at least two-thirds of total votes cast
  • General Majority: majority of votes cast 

Committee member responsibilities:

  • Attend all Committee and Subcommittee meetings 
  • Submit items for Committee and Subcommittee agendas
  • Deliberate in collaborative manner with fellow Committee members and advise the Archivist on FOIA-related matters
  • Submit confidential annual financial disclosure forms for ethics review (federal members only)

Designated Federal Officer responsibilities: 

  • Ensure efficient operations
  • Ensure compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act and other applicable laws and regulations
  • Attend all Committee and Subcommittee meetings
  • Prepare and approve Committee meeting agendas
  • Maintain records of Committee activities
  • Ensure transcript and minutes for each meeting 
  • Chair any meeting when directed to do so by the Archivist


Alina M. Semo, Committee Chair
Phone: 202-741-5771

Kirsten MitchellDesignated Federal Officer
Management and Program Analyst
Phone: 202-741-5775