FOIA ombudsman not yet at full force, report finds

From Center for Effective Government:  A recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) doesn't have a plan for conducting comprehensive reviews of federal agencies' Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) policies or their compliance with the law.

Oversight of agency FOIA implementation and assistance for people using the law are vital to guarantee that this fundamental aspect of government transparency operates effectively. Indeed, such oversight and assistance were the purposes for which Congress passed the 2007 law creating OGIS within the National Archives and Records Administration. In response to persistent concerns about agency non-compliance with FOIA and difficulties facing requesters, the new office was established as a "FOIA ombudsman" and tasked with assisting the public in using the law to access information. But it is not obvious that Congress necessarily intended for OGIS to conduct comprehensive reviews, as GAO assumes, or that such an approach is necessary for OGIS to exercise effective oversight.

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