Last week, I spotlighted a reporter's inital foray into the FOIA. He has updated his attempt to get records from the Army which he is finding increasingly frustrating.
I sympathize with his frustration; the FOIA is much harder than it should be because, as the reporter has found out, real life gets in the way. The Army employee in charge of getting his records is detailed to another duty- the FOIA liasion's phone was transferred to someone unfamiliar with the FOIA. The roadblocks go on and on.
This is why FOIA professionals both inside and outside the government are important - being able to understand and navigate the process is important and too little emphasized in both the processing and requester communities. As my readers know, the American Society for Access Professionals is a great start for cutting through the noise, offering training and building relationships in all of the FOIA communities.