Office of Government Information Services (OGIS)

Compliance Program

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).

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 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 an advocate for the FOIA process.

Agency Compliance Reports

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 a report or visit our Agency Compliance Reports page. 


Agency Recommendations Tables

Agency Self-Assessments

Our FOIA compliance reports based on our analysis and observations of data collected through FOIA questions included in the annual Records Management Self-Assessment (RMSA) survey that the Office of the Chief Records Officer (CRO) for the U.S. Government administers to Federal agency records officers are available below. They are also on our Agency Self-Assessments Results page.

OGIS Issue Assessment Recommendations and Best Practices

Consider asking OGIS to assess your FOIA program

Our assessments are holistic, collaborative reviews of a FOIA program in which we interview employees and officials of the agency, review FOIA request and appeal files, conduct an online survey of FOIA processors, and study FOIA litigation against the agency, among other activities. At the end of each assessment, we publish a report that highlights best practices and areas for improvement. Our recommendations center around management, technology and communications. We can tailor our assessment to fit your needs and can even assess just a portion of your FOIA program. Want to know more? Contact OGIS at with the subject line "OGIS Assessment."