U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
EMS TRANSMISSION 09/01/2006
Instruction Memorandum No. 2006-219
To: All BLM Employees
Subject: Implementing Executive Order 13392: Improving Agency Disclosure of Information
Program Area: All program areas, Freedom of Information Act
Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) describes requirements for all employees to improve services to our customers by ensuring that we reply courteously and appropriately to all formal requests or potential requests for agency records filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Requests for agency records must be processed in a customer-friendly and expedient manner.
Policy/Action: Effective with the release of this IM, all employees of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are required to assist in facilitating and expediting the production and dissemination of documents requested under the FOIA. While the specific FOIA request may be filed with the State, Center, or field office FOIA Coordinator, all employees of the BLM are potentially called upon to produce the necessary information and documents to support this request. Responding to FOIA requests should be the highest priority possible and executed with quality customer service and the utmost courtesy. In many cases, the employee may need to respond directly to a follow-up request or telephone requests for information and, if called upon, should be prompt and attentive in their reply. All requests need to be coordinated with the FOIA Coordinator and responses made within the statutory time limit of twenty (20) work days. As oversight agencies will monitor us to ensure compliance with this Executive Order, the BLM will evaluate employee performance based on timeliness and customer service in responding to FOIA requests. A copy of the Executive Order and (E.O.) Office of Management and Budget’s implementing directive are available on www.whitehouse.gov/omb/memoranda/fy2006/m06-04.pdf
Timeframe: Effective upon issuance.
Background: In December, 2005, the President issued E.O. 13392 to improve the processing of requests under the FOIA. The goal was to expedite the processing of FOIA requests and eliminate any existing backlogs in FOIA responses. The E.O. also required that agencies issue and publish plans for complying with the E.O. and charged the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Justice, and the General Accountability Office with monitoring compliance and reporting on agency progress. Agencies need to take their responsibilities under this E.O. seriously and ensure that every federal employee is complying with this directive. Since responding to FOIA requests requires participation by all employees in furnishing documents, this directive reasserts federal policy on responding to FOIAs promptly and courteously. As federal employees, we need to be aware of our customers, the citizens of the United States.
Budget Impact: None. Responding to FOIA request is considered part of program duties.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: BLM Manual 1278 – External Access to BLM Information
Coordination: This IM has been coordinated with all of the Directorates.
Contact: John Livornese, Chief, Division of IRM Compliance at (202) 452-5008 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org