FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: State Department's FOIA backlog getting worse

FOIA News (2015-16)Allan BlutsteinComment

Amid Clinton email mess, State Department FOIA backlog surges

By Josh Gerstein, Politico, June 29, 2016

The State Department's backlog of Freedom of Information Act requests has surged to an all-time high in the wake of the disclosure of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state, according to newly disclosed figures.

About 29,000 FOIA requests are currently pending at State, up from a little under 22,000 last September, State FOIA official Eric Stein said in a court filing this week.

The number of FOIA lawsuits against State also continues to climb, and stood at 106 as of Monday, Stein said. That's up from 73 a little over a year ago — a time when State was already complaining that it was struggling under "a crushing workload."

State provided the numbers to U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg on Monday as the diplomatic agency resisted a bid by the Republican National Committee to speed up the disclosure of emails that 14 top State Department officials during Clinton's tenure sent to or received from accounts at a dozen web domains associated with the former secretary, former President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation.

Read more here.