February 22, 2013

Federal FOIA Ombuds Find Parallels With Organizational Ombuds

The U.S. Office of Government Information Services serves as an Ombudsman for the public and the government with concerns related to the Freedom of Information Act. OGIS staff recently attended a presentation by the Interagency Alternative Dispute Resolution Working Group on “How an Ombuds Office Serving Employees, Customers, and Citizens Can Bring Greater Success to Your Agency.”

A FOIA Ombudsman blog post remarked on some of the notable similarities:
  • An ombuds office plays an essential role, even though many people don’t understand what it does. 
  • Mediation and ombuds work are complementary services. 
  • Ombuds work requires creativity. 
  • One great challenge that new ombuds offices may face is overlap with other offices within the organization and feelings of jealousy or territoriality that may arise. 
Presenters included Rita Franklin, Director of the Department of Energy’s Office of the Ombudsman; Charles L. Howard, author and attorney; and Wendy Kamenshine, Ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (FOIA Ombudsman Blog.)

Related posts: NPR Interviews New FOIA Ombuds; Ombuds Burger and Facilitator Fries; Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Publishes First Ombuds Report; IOA Posts 2013 Conference Agenda, Opens Registration.

1 comment:

  1. With so many FOIA requests being denied and thousands backlogged and unanswered, I would assume that OGIS is the busiest Ombudsman's office in the Nation.