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: Expanding the FOIA

Scott A. Hodes highlights the recent introduction of legislation that would eliminate the FOIA shield for the Smithsonian Institute, and the continued lack of transparency when dealing with other federal agencies.

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

FOIA Facts: My Proposals for the FOIA

Following up on the passage earlier this year of the OPEN Government Act of 2007, FOIA expert Scott A. Hodes make two proposals absent from the law, but which would help FOIA requesters.

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

FOIA Facts – My Proposal: FOIA Litigation Reporting Requirements

Scott A. Hodes makes the case that there should be a reporting requirement for all FOIA lawsuits requiring agencies to inform a central FOIA Office the outcome of FOIA lawsuits.

Subjects: FOIA Facts, Government Resources, Legal Research, United States Law

FOIA Facts: Increasing the Quality of FOIA Releases

Scott A. Hodes contends that FOIA Office personnel are often inadequately trained and overworked, resulting in responses that reflect inconsistent quality and that are often not timely. His recommendations include thorough training programs and the creation of a specific FOIA job category.

Subjects: FOIA Facts

FOIA Facts: The Congressional Role in FOIA Operations

Scott A. Hodes contends that Congress must actively use its oversight role to ensure that the new FOIA law, and the FOIA and other disclosure laws that are already on the books, are actively followed and funded.

Subjects: Congress, FOIA Facts, Government Resources, Legal Research, United States Law

FOIA Facts: The Impact of the OPEN Government Act of 2007

Now that Congress has passed and the President has signed the FOIA Amendments known as the OPEN Government Act of 2007, many wonder what the new law does and doesn’t do for FOIA requesters. Scott A. Hodes reviews the major provisions of the new law and how it will or won’t affect FOIA requesters.

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

FOIA Facts: FOIA – The Year in Review

According to Scott A. Hodes, there has been much talk of new laws and initiatives to make FOIA friendlier to the public. As 2008 begins, the OPEN Government Act of 2007 becomes law, but much work in this area remains ahead.

Subjects: FOIA Facts

FOIA Facts – FOIA Litigation: When A Loss Isn’t Always A Loss

According to Scott A. Hodes, bringing a FOIA case often results in a more timely release of information, more information being released then the agency would have released if it wasn’t in litigation and more information going to the requester about agency decisions and withheld documents.

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

FOIA Facts: Points to Remember

Scott A. Hodes suggests making your requests as broad as possible at the outset, and provide as much information about the topic as possible. This will assist in expediting the processing of your request.

Subjects: FOIA Facts, Legal Research
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