What are your favorite FOIA tips and tricks?
Every frequent FOIA filer has a host of tips, tricks, and other strategies up their sleeve. What’s are your favorite tips?
I scan report indexes, document databases and Tables of Contents for source material regularly.
Google what you are looking for first. More often than not I find what or a portion of it that has already been released either directly or indirectly (e.g., privacy impact assessment reports). From there I narrow down the scope of my request to only include documents that I know are not otherwise readily available.
Additionally, it never hurts to talk to others who handle similar requests to yourself, to see if they have already requested the documents that you are searching for and received a response. A lot of people are happy to share.
Via an email:
If you are ever chasing down records for a DoD element, always hit DFAS as well for records. Follow the money.
DFAS in the past has always been a helpful agency, they will provide requesters with spreadsheets showing payments, amounts, dates, etc.
Yes, accounting is the underrated nerve center of administration.