As part of the Second Open Government National Action Plan’s commitment to modernizing FOIA and improving internal agency FOIA processes, we will be holding a series of agency Best Practices workshops beginning this Spring. Each workshop will focus on a specific topic and will include a panel of agency representatives sharing their success stories and strategies. Through these workshops agencies can learn from one another and leverage the successes of other agencies in their own organization for the overall benefit of FOIA administration across the government.
As the Attorney General emphasized in his FOIA Guidelines, the “responsibility for effective FOIA administration belongs to all of us . . . [and] [w]e all must do our part to ensure open government.” Embracing the Attorney General’s FOIA Guidelines, over the past few years many agencies have analyzed their existing FOIA practices and found ways to improve different areas of their FOIA administration such as reducing backlogs, improving processing times, increasing proactive disclosures, using technology, and improving customer service.
This new Best Practices Workshop series is designed to share the lessons learned across agencies in improving their FOIA administration, many of which are described each year in agency Chief FOIA Officer Reports. Each workshop will focus on a specific FOIA topic, such as reducing backlogs, and will highlight a panel of agencies that have had success in that area. Tips and best practices discussed during these workshops, as well as feedback from workshop participants will then be published online so that all agencies can use them as a resource for improvement.
Specific details regarding these workshops, including time, location and topic will be announced prior to each session here on FOIA Post and through OIP’s Twitter account, @FOIAPost. As we work to establish this new series of workshops, we invite you to suggest discussion topics. Also please let us know if you would like to participate as an agency representative on a panel or would like to identify any other agencies that have had successes in any area of FOIA administration that should be included on a panel. Please e-mail your suggestions to us at DOJ.OIP.FOIA@usdoj.gov using the subject line “Agency Best Practices Workshop Suggestion.”