FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: Gov't litigation costs exceeded $40 million in FY 2017

FOIA News (2018)Allan BlutsteinComment

Federal agencies incurred a record-high $40,387,920 in litigation-related costs in fiscal year (FY) 2017, according to data entered on DOJ's website FOIA.gov.  This represents a 11.8 percent increase from FY 2016, when litigation costs reached $36.2 million.

The cabinet agencies with the highest litigation costs were the Departments of Justice ($13.6 million), State ($9.5 million), and Defense ($4 million), while Housing and Urban Development ($0) and Education ($207k) had the lowest litigation costs.  Combined, the 15 cabinet agencies racked up $36 million in litigation costs, which constitutes 89 percent of the litigation costs incurred by the entire federal government.  Of the non-cabinet agencies, the highest litigation costs were incurred by Central Intelligence Agency ($2.5 million) and the Environmental Protection Agency ($931k).  

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