Federal Manager's Daily Report

Requests received by agencies for records under the Freedom of Information Act increased by about 30 percent over 2012-2018 to more than 860,000, while the number of those process increased by about 25 percent to above 830,000, resulting in a larger backlog, GAO has reported.

In 2018 only 27 percent were granted in full, down from 35 percent in 2012, and 39 percent were partially granted, while the remainder were denied for procedural reasons—mainly because the agency could identify no records meeting the request—or under one of the nine exceptions to disclosure under the FOIA.

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The backlog of cases in which agencies did not meet a requirement to respond within 20 business days with a determination of whether they have documents meeting the request of 111,000 cases in 2018 was above the 72,000 of 2012 but below 2014 when it spiked to 160,000.

Responding to FOIA requests accounted for the equivalent of 5,000 positions government-wide in 2018, with $510 million spent on processing and another $41 million on FOIA-related litigation.

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