Few parts of the FOIA process are more frustrating than finally hearing back from an agency after months of anticipation, only to be handed an invoice for a few hundred dollars in duplication fees. The FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 was meant to specifically address those frustrations, prohibiting agencies from charging fees if certain conditions are met. However, as is so often the case, sometimes agencies need a gentle reminder of legal requirements.
Last weekend, an anonymously-attributed presentation entitled “FOIA Strategies and Tactics” started making the rounds in the #OpenGov community, offering something for beginners, veterans, and fans of vintage Tex Avery alike. While the whole thing’s worth a read, today we wanted to focus on the five points brought up in the presentation’s conclusion, as they address some often-overlooked elements of the whole FOIA process.
It’s been just three days since Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III passed his report on to Attorney General William P. Barr, and already Freedom of Information Act lawsuits are flying. Here’s what’s likely to be released and how you can follow along for instant updates on related requests.
For our Requester’s Voice series, The Young Turks’ senior investigative reporter Ken Klippenstein spoke with us about his love for FOIA, public records reporting during a government shutdown, the perks of going viral, and the “symbiotic relationship” between journalism and activism.
Annita Lucchesi, a doctoral student and freelance cartographer, has filed extensive FOIA requests to create the first centralized database on missing and murdered indigenous women. Lucchesi shared her experiences navigating a system that refuses to keep track of this data.
|Is there a good FBI FOIA request sample letter?|