Meanwhile, GAO has reported that the Labor Department has not updated its FOIA regulation to reflect changes in its process made in response to more recent amendments to the law and new implementing guidance.
“DoL uses an information technology system to manage and track requests, but it has not implemented key required and recommended capabilities for enhancing FOIA processing, such as capabilities to accommodate individuals with disabilities or electronic redaction,” said GAO.
In FY 2014 the department processed 76 percent of requests that GAO reviewed within 20 working days but for the other 24 percent it did not document in its FOIA tracking system the rationales for delays or notify requesters of them, said the report.
It noted that over the 10-year period ending that year, Labor was sued 68 times over its FOIA compliance. The large majority of such cases, 44, were settled, resulting in attorney’s fees and other costs being awarded to the requesters and/or in the department releasing additional information. Courts ruled in favor of the department in 18 others, in favor of requesters in three others, and the rest were either split or are still pending.