To set the highest standard of quality, timeliness, and customer satisfaction in compliance with legal mandates, in the management of information resources programs, and in the delivery of information services.
The Office of Information Programs and Services -- or
IPS for short -- is the primary point of contact for anyone seeking
access to Department of State records.
On December 14, 2005 the President issued Executive Order 13392, entitled "Improving Agency Disclosure of Information." This Executive Order furthers the goals of section 552 of title 5, United States Code, by establishing a "citizen-centered and results-oriented approach" to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The Order requires the following actions:
For more information on Executive Order 13392, go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/12/print/20051214-4.html.
- The designation of a Chief FOIA Officer at the Assistant Secretary level or equivalent. The Secretary has designated the Assistant Secretary for Administration as the Department's Chief FOIA Officer. Among the responsibilities of the Chief FOIA Officer is to ensure compliance with the FOIA, including implementation of the Department's comprehensive Report & FOIA Improvement Plan under E.O. 13392.
- The creation of a FOIA Requester Service Center to enable FOIA requesters to inquire about the status of their requests and obtain information about the Department's FOIA program.
The Requester Liaison Division will serve as the Requester Service Center for those seeking information under the FOIA. Any inquiries into your specific request, including status reports, or general questions about FOIA should be directed to our Requester Service Center on the FOIA Hotline at 202-261-8484.
- The designation of a Public Liaison with whom FOIA requesters can raise concerns about the service they receive from the Department's Requester Service Center, following an initial response from the Center's staff.
You may reach the FOIA Public Liaison, Patrick D. Scholl, by calling the FOIA
Hotline at 202-261-8484.
IPS serves as the Records Manager for the Department of State, with
responsibility for the U.S. Government’s foreign policy archives,
a unique historical collection of international significance.
IPS is responsible for ensuring that the Department of
State is in compliance with a wide range of statutory and administrative
requirements, including the Federal Records Act, FOIA and EFOIA laws,
the Privacy Act, Executive Orders 12958 and 13392, and certain provisions of
the Ethics in Government Act.
Information Access Programs
IPS administers the Department of State’s information access programs
and responds to requests from an extremely wide and diverse group of
customers, including the foreign affairs and national security community,
the Congress, the courts, foreign governments, and the public.
IPS performs systematic, comprehensive, and complex searches for information
in those records -- including electronic records -- which are still
in the physical custody of the Department.
IPS is leading the way in developing and applying new information technology
to records management and information access programs in support of U.S. diplomacy.
The Life of a Document
Records at the Department of State pass through several stages before they are destroyed or transferred to the National Archives. Understanding this document life cycle may help the requester locate the records he/she wants.