The Department of Justice's Office of Information and Privacy, in conjunction with the Department's
National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina, offers five different training programs on the
Freedom of Information Act. The schedule for Fiscal Year 2004 is as follows:
The first two days of this basic training program are designed
for attorneys, paralegals, and information officers with limited previous experience
under the FOIA who are now or soon will be working extensively with the Act.
Workshops on FOIA exemptions emphasize the criteria for making information-disclosure
determinations, and procedural issues are addressed as well. The third day of
the program deals with the Privacy Act of 1974, addressing such matters as definitions,
restrictions on disclosure, requests for record access and amendment, and fair
information practices. Attendance on all three days is required for programs
conducted in Columbia, South Carolina. For programs conducted in Washington,
D.C., the FOIA and Privacy Act sessions may be attended separately.
October 21-23, 2003, Washington, D.C.
November 18-20, 2003, Columbia, S.C.
March 2-4, 2004, Columbia, S.C.
July 20-22, 2004, Washington, D.C.
September 14-16, 2004, Columbia, S.C. cancelled due to unanticipated
budget cuts at the National Advocacy Center
Advanced Freedom of Information Act Seminar
This seminar is designed for the principal legal and administrative
FOIA officers of all federal agencies and major agency components, or their
designees. It provides advanced instruction on selected substantive and procedural
topics under the FOIA, including up-to-date policy guidance. It also serves
as a forum for the exchange of ideas useful in dealing with problems that commonly
arise in administering the Act. The seminar includes sessions on such topics
as recent FOIA decisions, selected procedural issues, FOIA from the nongovernment
perspective, administrative and litigation considerations, and current policy
issues. Registration is limited to no more than 45 attendees, all of whom should
have attended the Department of Justice's basic two-day FOIA course.
Freedom of Information Act training programs are also sponsored by the USDA
Graduate School and the American Society of Access Professionals. These links can be
used for these programs.
December 3, 2003, Washington, D.C. rescheduled for December 4, 2003, Washington, D.C.
June 9, 2004, Washington, D.C. rescheduled for July 14, 2004, Washington, D.C.
Freedom of Information Act Administrative Forum
This program is designed for agency FOIA personnel who have
several years of experience with the FOIA and are involved in the processing
of FOIA requests on a daily basis. It is devoted almost entirely to administrative
matters arising under the Act -- such matters as record-retrieval practices,
multitrack queue usage, backlog management, affirmative disclosure, and automated
record processing. Designed to serve also as a regular forum for the governmentwide
exchange of ideas and information on matters of FOIA administration, this program
brings veteran FOIA processors from throughout the government together and encourages
them to share their experience in administering the Act. The program also includes
an overview of recent case law pertaining to the processing of FOIA requests.
December 4, 2003, Washington, D.C. rescheduled for December 3, 2003, Washington, D.C.
June 10, 2004, Washington, D.C. rescheduled for July 15, 2004, Washington, D.C.
Introduction to the Freedom of Information Act
This half-day program provides a basic overview of the FOIA
for agency personnel who do not specialize in access law. It is designed for
those who either work with the FOIA only occasionally or need only a working
familiarity with the FOIA in order to recognize and handle FOIA-related problems
that may arise in other areas of agency activity. Topics include resource materials,
background and legislative history, disclosure mandates, exemptions to mandatory
disclosure, administrative considerations, and the relationship of the FOIA
to the Privacy Act of 1974.
November 5, 2003, Washington, D.C.
March 17, 2004, Washington, D.C.
August 4, 2004, Washington, D.C.
FOIA Guide Seminar
This program is designed to provide attorneys and access professionals
with an update on recent FOIA decisions and current FOIA policy. It is specifically
intended for the access professional who has attended the Department of Justice's
basic two-day FOIA course, or has worked extensively with the Act, and seeks
a periodic update on FOIA matters. The program is conducted by the co-directors
of the Office of Information and Privacy immediately after completion of each
new edition of the "Justice Department Guide to the Freedom of Information Act,"
a special prepublication copy of which is provided to all attendees. The "FOIA
Guide" is revised and published on a biennial cycle during the month of May
in even-numbered years, and the next seminar is currently anticipated to be
held in June 2004. As soon as a firm date is scheduled, it will be made available
through FOIA Post, together with enrollment information, so that registration
for the program may begin as soon as possible. The Office of Information and
Privacy intends to hold this FOIA program at the Ronald Reagan Building and
International Trade Center, which has a capacity that should accommodate all
To find further information about these seminars, including application requirements
and enrollment information, go to National Advocacy Center, click on "Courses
sorted by topic," and click on "FOIA" or scroll down to "FOIA Programs." For
enrollment information, return to the National Advocacy Center's home page
and click on "Procedures to attend a course."
OTHER TRAINING SOURCES
For programs offered by the USDA Graduate School:
1. Click on "Course Catalog."
2. Enter "Freedom" as the keyword/subject. Click on "Submit Search," or choose to
limit your search geographically and then click on "Submit Search."
For programs offered by the American Society of Access Professionals,
check for any course offering on ASAP's home page by using the above link.
(posted 7/23/03; supplemented 10/30/03 and 3/29/04)
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