OSS Procurement FAQ: Part 2 Boo!

Michelle Koeth | Civic Commons | October 31, 2011

It’s Halloween, and while some procurement issues can be quite dry, I figured for part 2, we could take on a more festive and spooky theme focusing on some edge cases discussed by some of the government staff I interviewed. As scary as some might sound, as edge cases, they are not the most frequently encountered issues. But it never hurts to know whats out there, potentially lurking, and some of the best practices to let these gruesome issues rest in peace.

A Twilight Zone in FOIA Requests: How does a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request or a public records law request apply to government software? At least for the Federal government, whether software is considered a “record” is unclear, and so whether or not software can be requested in an FOIA request has been detailed by some individual federal agencies in their own policies. How a FOIA request affects the licensing of in-house developed software is unclear, and an issue that we hope to document further in the legal guide. To read about Federal policies that discuss FOIA requests for software, see the section of the Legal Guide on Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Public Records Law...