The mission of the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) is to improve the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process and resolve disputes between Federal agencies and FOIA requesters.
OGIS reviews policies and procedures of administrative agencies under FOIA, reviews compliance with FOIA by agencies, and recommends policy changes to Congress and the President to improve the administration of FOIA. OGIS will offer mediation services to resolve disputes between persons making FOIA requests and agencies. To fulfill this mandate, OGIS has created a framework for offering mediation services by drawing on the array of services that mediation can encompass and will work with HNMCP students to design this mediation program.
Tasks will include (1) identifying key interests and goals of OGIS’s mediation program; (2) gathering input from all stakeholders and obtaining buy-in for using OGIS mediation services; (3) identifying types of conflicts that will be appropriate for formal mediation; and, (4) identifying alternative dispute resolution processes that will be useful to resolve the types of disputes coming to OGIS.
- Analyze case data to identify trends in terms of the types of cases, types of disputants, and types of help requested, as well as the complexity and the amount of time and resources they take and how that has changed over time
- Develop guidelines for processing disputes and identifying cases for mediation, as well as assessing and tracking outcomes
- Develop a method for identifying success in dispute resolution and for evaluating mediator and stakeholder satisfaction
Report recommending a system for processing FOIA mediation cases, and a method for evaluating mediation services