Department of Justice Increases FOIA Releases and Reduces FOIA Backlogs

February 16, 2012

DOJ Achieves a 94.5% Release Rate for the Second Straight Year

The Department of Justice continues to lead by example in its administration of the FOIA, closing out Fiscal Year 2011 with significant accomplishments. Despite three straight years of receiving record high numbers of FOIA requests -- over 60,000 requests for each of the past three years --- the Department processed a record number of those requests. In doing so, the Department released records in full or in part for 94.5% of requests involving responsive records, which marks the second straight year the Department has achieved such a high release rate. Even more significantly, the Department increased the number of responses to requests where records were released in full.

In addition to releasing more information, the Department also realized its goal of reducing its backlog of pending requests. The backlog for initial requests was reduced significantly, by a full 26%, which is two and a half times over the target reduction of 10% suggested by the Open Government Directive. A parallel reduction in backlog was also achieved for pending administrative appeals, with the Department reducing that backlog by a full 41%. In addition, the Department not only closed its ten oldest pending requests from the previous fiscal year, but it also significantly reduced the number of days pending for the ten oldest requests in Fiscal Year 2011.

This data is contained in the Department's Annual FOIA Report for Fiscal Year 2011, which is posted on OIP's website and is also available on, the Department's dedicated governmentwide FOIA website. is a comprehensive FOIA resource which contains a wealth of information on how the FOIA works, where to make FOIA requests, and what to expect in response. contains a feature to allow searches across agency websites to locate publicly available information by topic.  The site also contains a FOIA "dashboard," graphically displaying all agencies' statistics regarding FOIA administration, which are reported in each agency's Annual FOIA Report.

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Updated August 6, 2014