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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

New FOI Report on Mediation Out...

The National Freedom of Information Coalition is happy to announce the latest edition of our FOI Reports, “Mediation Without Litigation” by Harry Hammitt, editor and publisher of “Access Reports” and a member of the board of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government.

We’re all aware of the obstacles one can face when trying to obtain information from government agencies. Even 40 years after passage of the FOIA, there exists “a frustration with the inability of many individuals and small organizations to press their case in the face of agency denials or delays.” In a system where courts are the final arbiter, the cost in terms of money and time required to litigate (when necessary) can be so daunting that requesters often are discouraged from making the effort.

In response, access advocates “are turning to state models for examples of how access to information disputes can be resolved short of litigation.” In this report, Mr. Hammitt “survey[s] the approaches taken by those states with both specific and informal dispute resolution as a way of better understanding what currently exists and what models might be adopted at both the federal level and for those states that currently do not have a mediation system of their own.”

The report can be found online at our web site.

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