2022-2024 Term Subcommittees
David Cuillier, University of Florida, and Catrina Pavlik-Keenan, Department of Homeland Security
The Implementation Subcommittee intends to review past recommendations of the four previous terms of the FOIA Advisory Committee and evaluate the current status of their implementation within agencies themselves. The Subcommittee will be guided by the FOIA Advisory Committee Recommendations Dashboard to focus on particular recommendations with the greatest executive branch-wide impact on improving the FOIA process. In undertaking its efforts, the Subcommittee will use a variety of methodologies, including but not limited to interviewing agency personnel, conducting surveys to receive input both from agency FOIA staff and interested members of the public, and inviting individuals to report to the FOIA Advisory Committee as a whole. End products might include:
- Summary of previous work by topic to avoid duplication and re-inventing the wheel for current/future terms.
- Report(s) and communication with Archivist, agencies, Congress, the requester community, and the public on effectiveness of recommendations and action taken, focusing on those still pending and providing suggestions for moving forward. Identify areas of disagreement over dashboard conclusions on what is so far accomplished.
- Highlight examples of positive outcomes to aid and inspire FOIA officers.
- The Subcommittee may also make recommendations on improving future communications by OGIS and OIP to agencies, the public, requesters, and press, to maximize compliance with past and future recommendations.
- Foster dialogue between the Administration and the requester community and solicit public comments.
Jason R. Baron, University of Maryland, and Gorka Garcia-Malene, Department of Health and Human Services
The Modernization Subcommittee’s mission is to seek to “upgrade” the administration of the FOIA by focusing on two main areas: examining current gaps in technology, and exploring ways in which interaction with the FOIA requester community can be revamped and improved. For the purpose of enabling the FOIA Advisory Committee to recommend changes in practice, among the actions the Subcommittee intends to take would include (a) conducting a review of the current status of governmental FOIA technology initiatives, (b) engaging with the requester community in soliciting feedback on where agency adoption of specific technologies would have a positive impact on the FOIA process; and (c) examining where improvements can be made in specific areas including, but not limited to, determination letters, large request best practices, default search protocols, and agency response timeframes.
Paul Chalmers, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and Gbemende Johnson, University of Georgia
To seek to improve the speed, efficiency, and effectiveness of FOIA processing by identifying gaps in agency FOIA office resources, investigating areas where existing resources can be used more economically, and considering potential solutions that will ensure that resources actually arrive in FOIA offices. The subcommittee will consider resources holistically, including technology, staffing, and general funding. We will conduct direct outreach to government FOIA offices at a variety of agencies and levels of leadership in order to get a better picture of FOIA resources and how resource-related issues affect processing of requests. We will then use this knowledge to propose recommendations, including, potentially, legislation, executive orders, and memos and investigations by other government agencies.