GAO Report Offers Recommendations to Help OGIS

Last week the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a new report evaluating the Office of Government Information Services' (OGIS) ability to meet its statutory responsibilities to review agency compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), offer mediation services for FOIA disputes and make recommendations for improving FOIA processing. Overall, the GAO reports that OGIS is taking some steps to meet its responsibilities, but that OGIS' actions are not as robust as they should be to effectively comply with the law. GAO’s recommendations include that OGIS set a time frame for completing a methodology and begin carrying out proactive evaluations ofagency compliance, and that it create performance measures for its mediation services. This report also reflects concerns expressed in an earlier report on OGIS by the Inspector General (IG) of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA): while OGIS is under-staffed, there is not a plan to define what resources would be necessary to help OGIS better meet its responsibilities.

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