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FOIA News: Comparing Wait Times for FOIA Requests

FOIA News (2017)Ryan MulveyComment

Comparing Wait Times for FOIA Requests

Gary S. Becker, Security Debrief, Mar. 17, 2017

On January 18, I submitted a Freedom of Information Act “simple” request to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with a due date of February 16, 2017. It is now more than 30 days overdue. I specifically asked CBP to provide me disembarkation data by year for a number of cruise ports across the United States. The data are not readily available as evidenced by the fact that major associations representing the cruise lines do not have this data. As I began researching my request, I decided to examine (without any pre-conceived notion and using performance metrics) how CBP and several other agencies were doing in terms of responding to their FOIA requests. For this brief analysis, I selected Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC). The three graphs below show the results.

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