Office of Government Information Services (OGIS)

Dispute Resolution Skills Training

Dispute Resolution Skills Training for FOIA Professionals

With passage of the Open Government Act of 2007, Congress formalized the crucial role played by the FOIA Public Liaisons (FPL) in the FOIA process. Specifically, the law directs FPLs to help resolve FOIA disputes and serve as the point of contact for FOIA requesters. OGIS recognizes the importance of this role, and we want to assist FPLs in fulfilling this mission. For this reason, we offer Dispute Resolution Skills Training for FOIA Professionals. This training is co-sponsored by the Department of Justice’s Office of Information Policy (OIP). Our goal in providing this training is to provide FPLs and other FOIA professionals with dispute resolution tools they can apply to FOIA disputes at their agencies.


 FPLs are the first point of contact within an agency when a FOIA dispute arises, and they must negotiate with members of the requester community as well as with colleagues within their own agency throughout the FOIA process. Of course, many FPLs are adept at handling sometimes contentious and complicated FOIA disputes, but others are new to this role. These free dispute resolution training sessions – which include instruction in communication and facilitation skills – will aid Public Liaisons from all backgrounds and skill levels. While a Public Liaison is certainly not expected to become a mediator, dispute resolution skills can help FPLs work more effectively. This training is open to all agency FOIA professionals.

OGIS has received positive feedback from attendees on the usefulness of this training.


We offer this training periodically. Please review our Activities Calendar for additional schedule information. Updates regarding future dates and registration for the Dispute Resolution Skills Training are announced on the FOIA Ombudsman blog and Twitter. If you have questions about our training program, please contact Carrie McGuire at