FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: DOJ experimenting with artificial intelligence for FOIA requests

FOIA News (2019)Allan BlutsteinComment

DOJ exploring artificial intelligence to help process FOIA requests

By David Thornton, Fed. News Network, May 3, 2019  

Though the data has yet to be released, Melanie Pustay, director of the Justice Department’s Office of Information Policy (OIP), expects 2018 was another record-breaking year for Freedom of Information Act requests. That means additional burdens on FOIA staff governmentwide, greater difficulty in reducing existing backlogs, and an interest in new ways of handling the increasing demand.

“I’m certainly expecting there to be even more FOIA requests for fiscal year [2018] than the year before,” Pustay said on Agency in Focus – Justice Department. “Certainly our trend line has been ever increasing numbers of requests; the public just seems like they can’t get enough of government information. And obviously it’s a great thing. On the one hand, we love to see people engage, but the challenge for agencies is keeping up with the demand.”

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