FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: FOIA requests top 800k in FY 2017, according to DOJ data

FOIA News (2017)Allan BlutsteinComment

According to data entered on DOJ's website FOIA.gov, the federal government received 818,275 FOIA requests in fiscal year (FY) 2017 -- an increase of 29,506 requests (or 3.7 percent) from fiscal year 2016, when the government received 788,769 requests.

The agencies receiving the largest number of requests were the Department of Homeland Security (366,036), Department of Justice (82,088), National Archives and Records Administration (60,337), Department of Defense (55,198), and Health and Human Services (34,978).  In sum, these five agencies received 598,637 requests, which accounts for 73 percent of all requests received by all agencies during the fiscal year.

Of the 15 cabinet agencies, the Department of State and the Department of Veterans Affairs experienced the steepest decreases in requests over the past fiscal year.  State received 20,276 fewer requests (a 72 percent decrease), while Veterans Affairs received 10,273 fewer requests (a 30 percent decrease).  By contrast, the sharpest increases in requests received by cabinet agencies were experienced by Education (19 percent), DHS (12 percent), and Energy (12 percent).

DOJ's Office of Information Policy is expected to shortly release a detailed summary of all agency FY 2017 annual reports.