Each week, we host a conversation that addresses topics and answers related questions important to FOIA users. This conversation takes place on the MuckRock Slack Channel #foia-help. This week’s topic is: how to elicit a quicker response time!
An easily overlooked feature that MuckRock offers is the language used in templates. In the body of the request MuckRock reiterates for the agency the time frame the they have to complete the request (in Massachusetts, it’s 15 business days for state agencies and 25 business days for municipalities). Additionally, this template can serve double duties as a checklist for yourself. Make sure that you have indeed submitted/provided the exact information needed to complete the request.
- Green = Clearly-defined time limit
- Orange = “Prompt” time limit
- Red = No time limit
The most important factor you can use to your advantage in eliciting a faster response is properly selecting the medium you use to submit your request. Email is often the mode of choice as it doesn’t cost the requester an additional fee like snail mail or a fax might.
Join us this Friday at 2pm on the MuckRock Slack Channel thread #foia-help to discuss these options and to community generate more tips and tricks on how to elicited a quicker response time! Talk to you soon!
Image via Aviano Air Force Base