Today, the Office of Information Policy (OIP) released its government-wide summary of agencies’ Annual Freedom of Information Act (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.
“This year we are proud to release an updated version of our Summary of Annual FOIA Reports, which includes new graphics and a more streamlined approach,” said Director Melanie Ann Pustay of the Office of Information Policy. “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.”
The government overall continued to face high numbers of incoming FOIA Requests during fiscal year 2017, receiving a record high of over 800,000 requests. Agencies responded by processing more than they received at over 820,000 requests. 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. The government was able to reduce its overall backlog by 3.2% and reduce its simple track processing times as well.
OIP’s Summary of Annual FOIA Reports for FY 2017 is available on our Reports page where it can be compared with previous summaries dating back to FY 2006. As announced on March 9, all agencies subject to the FOIA finalized their Fiscal Year 2017 Annual FOIA Reports and this data can easily be viewed, compared, and analyzed on FOIA.gov.