FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: Government Executive and Federal News Radio address DOJ's annual FOIA report

FOIA News (2015-16)Allan BlutsteinComment

FOIA Requests Hit Record High in 2014

By Charles S. Clark, Government Executive, May 5, 2015

The Justice Department’s latest summary of all agency Freedom of Information Act activity in fiscal 2014 shows a record number of requests.

 “Agency FOIA offices received a record high 714,231 requests while also facing several other challenges including reduced staffing, tough fiscal times, and a three-week government shutdown during which requests continued to come in when there was no staff available to process them,” Justice’s Office of Information Policy wrote in a report and compilation uploaded onto  “Managing these challenges, the government overall was able to process 647,142 requests while continuing to maintain a high release rate of over 91 percent for the sixth year in a row. The government overall also improved its average processing times for simple and complex track requests.”

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FOIA backlog almost doubles within a year

By Sean McCalley, Federal News Radio, May 4, 2015

The backlog of Freedom of Information Act requests grew for the second straight year. But the 70 percent spike in unprocessed FOIA requests easily dwarfs any year-to-year increase over the last half decade.

Between FY 2012 and 2013, the backlog grew by about 23,000 requests, or 32 percent. At the time, it was the largest backlog increase in the past five years.

In its annual FOIA report for fiscal 2014, the Justice Department's Office of Information Policy outlined a severe spike in unprocessed requests that almost doubled the backlog. Between FY 2013 and 2014, the logjam ballooned from a total of 96,000 to 160,000 requests.

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