The FOIA Ombudsman is rolling out a new website this week. The Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) created a sleek design with a library of informative background for new requesters and technical background for more experienced requesters.
Much of the new site will be immediately useful to FOIA users. The OGIS Library should prove useful for requesters who are new to FOIA and want to better understand the FOIA-speak that they sometimes receive in agency responses, although this material is similar to the technical background on the Justice Department’s FOIA.gov.
Other parts are aspirational: OGIS includes a section on Advisory Opinions but has not issued a single advisory opinion to date. OGIS notes the office is developing guidance on to explain how and when they will be used. Thus far, they have been a tool to be avoided, but we believe advisory opinions should be a useful tool that OGIS should use often.