© Copy right by EEO 21, LLC
275 East Street Road, #27, Feasterville, PA, U.S.A.
Freedom of Information Act
to you and others in connection to discrimination issues or other prohibited personnel practices in
the federal employment.  (You may require the Agency to produce documents via the discovery
requests during the
EEOC hearing or MSPB hearing process as well.)  For more information on
FOIA and Privacy Act.

The discovery tool under FOIA should be used well in advance, as the Agency may drag its feet in
responding to your requests.  When requesting, be very specific and time bound.  Name the
documents or describe them as much as possible with specific date range.  Many requests are
responded to by the Agency trying to understand or pretending to not understand what was
requested.  In other words, don't request for any and all documents ranging over 10 years or with
no date range specified.  Click for a
sample of document request (Word Doc).


In his January 21, 2009 Executive Order, President Obama stated in part:

    "The Freedom of Information Act should be administered with a clear presumption:  In the
    face of doubt, openness prevails.  The Government should not keep information
    confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because
    errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears.  
    Nondisclosure should never be based on an effort to protect the personal interests of
    Government officials at the expense of those they are supposed to serve.  In responding to
    requests under the FOIA, executive branch agencies (agencies) should act promptly and in
    a spirit of cooperation, recognizing that such agencies are servants of the public."

He also stated:

    "The presumption of disclosure also means that agencies should take affirmative steps to
    make information public.  They should not wait for specific requests from the public.  All
    agencies should use modern technology to inform citizens about what is known and done
    by their Government.  Disclosure should be timely"

Below is the full text of the President Obama's Executive Order.


       FOIA Executive Order

         THE WHITE HOUSE

    Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release                                                                                                         

January 21, 2009


MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

SUBJECT:      Freedom of Information Act

A democracy requires accountability, and accountability requires transparency.  As Justice Louis
Brandeis wrote, "sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants."  In our democracy, the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA), which encourages accountability through transparency, is the most
prominent expression of a profound national commitment to ensuring an open Government.  At the
heart of that commitment is the idea that accountability is in the interest of the Government and the
citizenry alike.

The Freedom of Information Act should be administered with a clear presumption:  In the face of
doubt, openness prevails.  The Government should not keep information confidential merely
because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might
be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears.  Nondisclosure should never be based
on an effort to protect the personal interests of Government officials at the expense of those they
are supposed to serve.  In responding to requests under the FOIA, executive branch agencies
(agencies) should act promptly and in a spirit of cooperation, recognizing that such agencies are
servants of the public.

All agencies should adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure, in order to renew their
commitment to the principles embodied in FOIA, and to usher in a new era of open Government.  
The presumption of disclosure should be applied to all decisions involving FOIA.

The presumption of disclosure also means that agencies should take affirmative steps to make
information public.  They should not wait for specific requests from the public.  All agencies should
use modern technology to inform citizens about what is known and done by their Government.  
Disclosure should be timely.

I direct the Attorney General to issue new guidelines governing the FOIA to the heads of executive
departments and agencies, reaffirming the commitment to accountability and transparency, and to
publish such guidelines in the Federal Register.  In doing so, the Attorney General should review
FOIA reports produced by the agencies under Executive Order 13392 of December 14, 2005.  I also
direct the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to update guidance to the agencies to
increase and improve information dissemination to the public, including through the use of new
technologies, and to publish such guidance in the Federal Register.

[Page 2]

This memorandum does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at
law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its
officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

The Director of the Office of Management and Budget is hereby authorized and directed to publish
this memorandum in the Federal Register.

                                                            BARACK OBAMA



More on
FOIA
    EEOC hearings
    EEO representation
    MSPB appeal hearings
    Federal employment discrimination specialist
    serving nationwide from Philadelphia