Author archives

Scott A. Hodes is a sole practitioner in Washington, D.C., practicing Information and Privacy Law. Mr. Hodes assists clients in gaining access to government records under the FOIA, Privacy Act and other federal agency access provisions. Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Hodes was an attorney at the Department of Justice for over a decade. He served in the FBI's Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Section from 1998 until 2002 as the Acting Chief of that Section's Litigation Unit. Mr. Hodes served at the Department of Justice's Office of Information and Privacy from 1991 until 1998. His website is InfoPrivacylaw.com, and he is a member of the DC and Maryland bars. See also Mr. Hodes' blog, The FOIA blog - Everything FOIA (and government disclosure). Mr. Hodes is currently President of the American Society of Access Professionals.

FOIA Facts – Ideas for Faster FOIA Processing

Scott A. Hodes notes that in the current Congress there are bills pending that would create a commission to come up with ideas for faster FOIA processing. He contends that by taking those ideas, along with a few days of congressional oversight hearings to solicit other opinions, Congress would have ample information to create an actual bill that would implement faster FOIA processing now rather than wait for a “commission” to come up with these same ideas.

Subjects: FOIA Facts, Freedom of Information, Legal Research

FOIA Facts: Nonsense

Senators Patrick Leahy and John Cornyn have introduced a bill establishing a committee of citizens to make recommendations on improving FOIA performance. A similar version of this bill was introduced in 2005 and went nowhere fast, according to Scott A. Hodes.

Subjects: E-Government, FOIA Facts, Freedom of Information, Legal Research

FOIA Facts: Why the Wait?

Requesters who are new to using the FOIA statute often complain that they have filed a request within the last month but haven’t receive their documents yet. FOIA expert Scott A. Hodes explains that the congressional budgeting process does not specifically provide FOIA operations within an agency a set line item amount. Thus, FOIA Offices usually have limited resources from within their own agencies to fulfill requests.

Subjects: FOIA Facts, Freedom of Information, Government Resources

FOIA Facts: The Detainee Photo Issue – Is it What it Seems?

Scott A. Hodes comments on the Obama administrations’ decision to continue to fight the release of detainee photos.

Subjects: FOIA Facts, Freedom of Information, Government Resources, Legal Research

FOIA Facts: What Now?

Now that both the President and Attorney General have weighed in with FOIA Memorandum, Scott A. Hodes provides us with the procedural steps that will result within agencies, and the effect the memos will have on the nine FOIA exemptions.

Subjects: FOIA Facts, Freedom of Information, Legal Research

FOIA Facts: President Obamas FOIA Memorandum and When Change Will Actually Occur

Scott A. Hodes notes the Obama administration’s immediate focus on FOIA, but reminds us that changing the ship of government requires numerous steps and constant vigilance to ensure change remains consistent and constant.

Subjects: E-Government, FOIA Facts, Government Resources

FOIA Facts: New FOIA Provisions Take Effect

Scott A. Hodes discusses two sections (Section 6 and 7) of the OPEN Government Act of 2007 that just went into effect, and the problems that will be encountered by requesters trying to use them to their advantage.

Subjects: Freedom of Information
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