Earlier this year, OIP announced the creation of a new series of agency Best Practices workshops as a part of the Second Open Government National Action Plan’s commitment to modernizing FOIA and improving the FOIA process at agencies. Today, we are pleased to announce the first slate of topics and details for this new series of workshops.
Each of the scheduled workshops focuses on a specific topic and will include a panel of agency representatives who will share their success stories and strategies. The series is an opportunity for FOIA professionals to learn from one another and leverage the successes of others in their own organizations for the overall benefit of FOIA administration across the government.
Each workshop in the series is open to all agency FOIA professionals and interested agency personnel. Representatives from civil society will be invited to participate in certain workshops as well. The dates and topics for the first set of workshops are:
Reducing Backlogs and Improving Timeliness
May 20, 2014, 10:00 am – 12 noon
Proactive Disclosures & Making Online Information More Useful
July 17, 2014, 10:00 am – 12 noon
Best Practices from the Requester’s Perspective
October 15, 2014, 10:00 am – 12 noon
Implementing Technology to Improve FOIA Processing
December 9, 2014, 10:00 am – 12 noon
Customer Service & Dispute Resolution
February 11 2015, 10:00 am – 12 noon
All meetings will be held in the Great Hall of the Department of Justice’s Robert F. Kennedy Building (10th and Constitution Ave., NW). Registration is required to attend and you will need a picture ID to enter the building for any of these meetings.
The May, July, December, and February meetings will feature different panels of agency representatives highlighting successes and lessons on the specific topics. The October meeting will feature a panel from the open government and requester community, highlighting some of the agency best practices they have experienced while working through the FOIA process with agencies. As previously announced, tips and topics discussed during these workshops, as well as feedback from workshop participants, will be published on OIP’s website after each meeting as a resource for all agencies.
If you are interested in attending any of these events, you can register by e-mailing your name and phone number to OIP’s Training Officer at DOJ.OIP.FOIA@usdoj.gov with the subject line “[Month] Best Practices Workshop.” If you have any questions regarding the series, please contact OIP’s Training Officer at (202) 514-3642.
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.” This new workshop series is designed to share lessons learned across agencies in an effort to improve the administration of the FOIA across the government.
As we hold these meetings, we continue to invite your suggestions on future meeting topics and potential panelists. If you would like to participate as a panelist or recommend someone for any of the above scheduled workshops, please e-mail us at DOJ.OIP.FOIA@usdoj.gov with the subject line “Best Practices Workshop Suggestion.”