Making Government Operations More Open

Revise OPM Report to Direct Changes in Personnel Policies for FOIA Professionals

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) should reconsider and revise its December 2008 report issued pursuant to Section 11 of the OPEN Government Act of 2007, regarding improving personnel practices for employees who administer the FOIA in the federal government. The report fails to recommend any meaningful action by OPM, but rather suggests a continuation of the status quo, with individual agencies having responsibility for FOIA personnel policies. But OPM CAN take action to raise the caliber of the FOIA workforce, attract and maintain trained individuals in FOIA positions, and compel other federal employees to consider information disclosure as part of their job description. OPM should also gather input from key stakeholders, including a range of agency FOIA officials, the American Society of Access Professionals (ASAP), an independent organization for FOIA and privacy professionals, and members of the FOIA requester and advocacy community. The administration should then direct OPM to issue a revised report that seriously examines “how FOIA can be better implemented at the agency level” by improving the standing and consideration of agency FOIA professionals in the personnel system.

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Idea No. 758