Prospects for mediation at OGIS

The OPEN Government Act of 2007, which amended the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and created the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), set out two tasks for the fledgling agency in the new section (h). First, OGIS is expected to review administrative agencies’ Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) policies, procedures, and compliance – and use what it learns to propose policy changes to Congress and the President. (As we blogged about last month.)

Second, and central to this analysis, OGIS is expected to “offer mediation services… as a non-exclusive alternative to [FOIA] litigation.” Mediation services, as OGIS explained, includes “a range of services within that spectrum. Both mediation and facilitation are forms of ‘mediation services.’.” During its first year, OGIS reported that facilitation succeeded fully in about 82% of cases (68/83).

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