I am pleased to announce that the inaugural Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Committee, under the direction of the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), submitted a final report and recommendations regarding FOIA Fees, Proactive Disclosure, and Oversight & Accountability.
The Committeeâs report & their recommendationsÂ is the product of two years of hard work by the Committee to study the current FOIA landscape across the Executive Branch, to provide advice on improving FOIA administration, & to make recommendations to the Archivist of the United States.
OGIS provides leadership, administrative and logistical support for the FOIA Advisory Committee. Director James Holzer serves as the Committeeâs Chair, & a member of the OGIS staff acts as the Committeeâs Designated Federal Officer (DFO).
Much of the Committeeâs work was done by its three subcommittees: FOIA Fees, Oversight & Accountability, & Proactive Disclosures. The DFO attended all of the subcommitteesâ meetings & was included on all correspondence between members. OGIS staff also ushered the Fees & Oversight & Accountability Subcommittees through the process necessary to gather new information from agency FOIA professionals about how fees are used & the role of FOIA Public Liaisons. This information improved Committee membersâ & public understanding of the issues, and influenced its recommendations.
The Committee prepared this report prior to the final meeting of the 2014 â 2016 term of the Committee, & documents all of the work done by the Committee over its two year term. The report also includes background on the Committeeâs creation, summaries of the Committeeâs quarterly meetings, & a summary of the work undertaken by the Fees, Oversight & Accountability, & Proactive Disclosures Subcommittees. Far from an end result, Director Holzer intends to use the report as a starting point for the next term of the Committee. The Committee is accepting comments on the recommendation and on the Committeeâs Final Report. Please direct all comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Committeeâs development of a consensus recommendation is an important milestone: it shows that agencies and requesters can work together to improve the FOIA process. The Committeeâs unanimous decision to send forward its first recommendation to the Archivist is also a testament to the importance of transparency, participation, & collaboration.
This report reflects the Committeeâs thoughtful & thorough work on this important topic, & I will want to thank Director Holzer, the Office of Government Information Services, & the entire FOIA Advisory Committee for their hard work & dedication to this important topic.