The newly created expanded Freedom of Information Act advisory committee set oversight of the FOIA process, increased proactive disclosure and eliminating fees as their top priorities at a June 24 meeting. The committee is comprised of government members and 10 non-governmental members with FOIA expertise. The group was created through the second Open Government National Action Plan with and charged studying FOIA across the government and advising on ways to improve FOIA.
The National Archives and Records Administration will now offer online training for federal employees making digital submissions to the Federal Register and a new web portal to track submissions. The web portal is scheduled to go live this summer and will enable agencies to track their submissions and get immediate feedback on the document's digital signature.
The National Archives and Records Administration will create a committee to improve the way the government process Freedom of Information Act request, a May 5 Federal Register notice says. "NARA has determined that the creation of the FOIA Advisory Committee is in the public interest due to the expertise and valuable advice the Committee members will provide on issues related to improving the administration of FOIA," the notice says.
The National Archives and Records Administration wants agencies to implement a simplified and automated approach to managing the billions of emails they send and receive. The approach, called Capstone, is not mandatory but is designed to help agencies comply with an August 2012 memo from the White House that requires them to electronically manage permanent and temporary email records by Dec. 31, 2016.
Concern about mobile devices and records management sparked the National Archives and Records Administration to warn agencies about the challenges they're likely to face.
The increasing use of mobile devices at federal agencies may have broad implications for records management, something the National Archives and Records Administration has set out to address.
The federal office that serves as the Freedom of Information Act ombudsman is aiming to embed FOIA personnel into information technology procurement and development. The idea would be to ensure in advance that agencies can efficiently search for electronic records in new repositories.
Federal agency records managers should develop an email management plan when using the new Capstone approach. The plan should suit the needs of the agency, while keeping with legal standards specific to the agency, the National Archives and Records Administration said during a recent workshop.
The Office of Personnel Management Dec. 27 issued a draft description of a formal records management occupational series. The draft position clarification flysheet for records management professionals intends to fulfill a requirement under President Obama's 2011 memorandum on managing government records.
Freedom of Information Act processing at many agencies has been delayed because the majority of FOIA professionals were furloughed as non-excepted employees during the government's 16-day shutdown. Unfortunately, the FOIA statute does not address government shutdowns, writes Kristen Mitchell, a facilitator at the National Archives and Records Administration's office of government information services, in an Oct. 24 blog post.