Office of Government Information Services (OGIS)

FOIA Compliance Program

Accordion

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) mandates that the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) review agency FOIA policies, procedures and compliance, 5 U.S.C. §§ 552 (h)(2)(A) and 552 (h)(2)(B).

OGIS reviews agency FOIA policies, procedures and compliance by

  • providing Dispute Resolution Skills training to agency FOIA professionals;
  • highlighting agency best practices;
  • reviewing and commenting on proposed agency FOIA regulations;
  • reviewing and suggesting improvements to agency FOIA materials;
  • working with agencies when the Office observes policies and procedures that appear to OGIS to be inconsistent with FOIA law or policy; and
  • reviewing government and non-government reports on FOIA activities and compliance.

OGIS builds on these activities with its agency assessment program in which OGIS reviews agency FOIA programs by

  • Providing agencies with materials to conduct self-assessments
  • Assessing agency FOIA programs by reviewing sources including
    • FOIA request files;
    • FOIA regulations;
    • Internal guidance for processing requests;
    • agency visits; and
    • other supporting documentation.
  • Providing agencies with FOIA compliance reports
  • Assisting agencies in solving their biggest FOIA challenges


As with its mediation services, OGIS reviews agency policies, procedures and compliance with a focus on impartiality and fairness, and
as an advocate for the FOIA process.

OGIS periodically conducts independent, systematic reviews of agencies to evaluate their compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). See 5 U.S.C. § 552(h)(2). These reviews assess the agency’s FOIA operations, programs, and policies, and may include aspects such as program design, implementation, and results. An OGIS review may result in a report that we provide to the agency and release publicly, and may include recommended improvements and administrative actions.

Click on the agency name to learn more about the scope of our assessment and access our report. You can learn more about assessments scheduled for the current Fiscal Year by viewing our Activities Calendars.

Subject Title Date Published
Agency Searches for Responsive Records Leveraging Technology to Improve Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Searches  July 21, 2019
Required Notification of Dispute Resolution Services Agencies Providing Required Notices of Dispute Resolution Services; Changes in Correspondence Can Improve Requester Understanding July 18, 2018
Administrative Closures through the Use of "Still Interested" Letters Reports Part 3, Recommendations to Improve Transparency of the Use of Still Interested Letters  
Administrative Closures through the Use of "Still Interested" Letters Reports Part 2, Review of FOIA Programs' Fiscal Year 2014 Use of Still Interested Letters  
Administrative Closures through the Use of "Still Interested" Letters Reports Part 1, Historical Trends: Relatively Few Requests Closed, Better Reporting Needed  

Administrative Closures through the Use of "Still Interested" Letters Reports

Author Recipient Subject Date Files
OGIS Cause of Action DHS/FEMA use of "still interested" letters  April 29, 2016 PDF
OGIS Electronic Privacy Information Center Update regarding OGIS review of "still Interested" letters December 10, 2015 PDF
OGIS Cause of Action DHS/FEMA use of "still interested" letters September 15, 2015 PDF
OGIS Department of Homeland Security (DHS),
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
DHS/FEMA use of "still interested" letter September 15, 2015 PDF
OGIS Electronic Privacy Information Center Federal agencies' use of "still interested" letters August 27, 2015 PDF

 

 

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