The Office for Information Policy is pleased to announce that all 118 agencies subject to the FOIA have finalized their Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Annual FOIA Reports, and that OIP has released its Summary of the Annual FOIA Report Data for FY 2018.
“With more than 100 agencies subject to the FOIA, this Summary is designed to be a ready resource for both agencies and the public, to gain an understanding of overall FOIA administration.” said Director Melanie Ann Pustay of the Office of Information Policy.
Each year, federal departments and agencies are required by law to submit a report to the Attorney General detailing various statistics regarding their agency’s FOIA activities, such as the numbers of requests processed and received, and the time taken to process them. The data from all of these Annual FOIA Reports is then uploaded onto FOIA.gov, the Justice Department’s government-wide FOIA resource, so that the public can easily view it and compare FOIA data by agency and over time.
In addition to making this data available on FOIA.gov, OIP publishes an annual government-wide summary of agencies’ Annual FOIA Reports. This comprehensive picture into the government’s FOIA activities during the previous fiscal year looks at key statistics in FOIA administration and identifies trends in FOIA processing by comparing data from prior years.
The government overall continued to face high numbers of incoming FOIA requests during Fiscal Year 2018, receiving a record high of 863,729 requests. Agencies continued to respond to this high demand by processing more than the prior year. As in prior years, the most cited FOIA exemptions were for the protection of personal privacy (Exemptions 6 and 7(C)). The top four agencies that received and processed the most requests as part of these efforts were the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, and Defense, and the National Archives and Records Administration. While the ever-increasing demand of FOIA requests continues to impact agency FOIA backlogs, the government was able to reduce its processing times for simple track requests to about 25 days.
OIP’s Summary of Annual FOIA Reports for FY 2018 is available on our Reports page where it can be compared with previous summaries dating back to FY 2006. Agency Annual FOIA Reports for this year and prior years are also available on the Reports page as well as FOIA.gov.