The Office of Information Policy (OIP) has released its Summary of Annual FOIA Reports for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. This summary of government-wide data serves as a comprehensive analysis of the federal government's FOIA activities during the previous fiscal year. The annual summary looks at key statistics in FOIA administration and identifies trends in FOIA processing as compared to prior fiscal years. The purpose of the summary is to serve as a resource to help both agencies and the public to gain an understanding of overall FOIA administration.
For the third consecutive year, the government received over 800,000 FOIA requests. Furthermore, despite a thirty-five day government shutdown during FY 2019, agencies processed a record high of 877,964 requests, which contributed to a 7.9% reduction in the government's overall backlog. Overall, eighty-nine agencies reported closing Fiscal Year 2019 with a backlog of less than 100 requests, sixteen had a backlog of 100-999, and thirteen had a backlog of more than 1,000. Looking ahead, the summary concludes by noting that agencies should continue to focus on key metrics such as simple track processing times and the age and size of FOIA backlogs as they carefully monitor their progress and devise short and long term plans for achieving measurable results in the face of new challenges.
OIP's summary is available on its Reports page, where it can be compared with previous summaries dating back to FY 2006. As previously announced on March 4, 2020, all agencies subject to the FOIA finalized their FY 2019 Annual FOIA Reports data. This information can be easily viewed, compared, and analyzed on FOIA.gov. Subscribe to FOIA Post email updates to receive additional FOIA updates from OIP.