The Office of Information Policy (OIP) has released its Summary of Annual FOIA Reports for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. 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.
As highlighted in the Summary, the government continued to receive high numbers of requests, over 790,000, during FY 2020. As discussed in agency Chief FOIA Officer Reports, the COVID-19 pandemic, which began last March, had varying impacts on agencies' FY 2020 FOIA administration. Nevertheless, agencies were able to process more than 770,000 requests and the overall average processing time for simple track requests decreased by more than nine days as compared to FY 2019. While the government’s overall backlog increased, eighty-seven agencies reported closing FY 2020 with a backlog of less than 100 requests, sixteen had a backlog of 100-999, and sixteen had a backlog of more than 1,000.
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 2, 2021, all agencies subject to the FOIA finalized their FY 2020 Annual FOIA Report data. This information can be easily viewed, compared, and analyzed on the recently redesigned FOIA.gov Data page. Subscribe to FOIA Post email updates to receive additional FOIA updates from OIP.