Records Requests on the Rise

person pointing to statistics

According to a recent survey, one of the top challenges facing government agencies processing FOIA requests is handling the volume of requests.

cartoon of man at desk with large stack of paper

Increasing Demand

This trend is nothing new. The figure below depicts federal FOIA requests increasing over the last decade.

graph showing increase in requests
Source: https://federalnewsnetwork.com/open-datatransparency/2019/06/2018-sees-record-number-of-foia-requests-information-seekers-change/

large numbers showing increase in requests

As demonstrated below, agencies struggle to meet this demand, with the gap widening in the last five years.

graph demonstrating statistics
Source: http://foiaproject.org/2019/12/15/foia-suits-rise-because-agencies-dont-respond-even-as-requesters-wait-longer-to-file-suit/

Compliance issues are driving the number of lawsuits up. In 2015, 84 suits were filed after the agency failed to respond.  By 2019, this number had risen to 183 suits. Then, the pandemic hit, and many agencies were not ready to support records requests as a digital service.

The stimulus funding is an opportunity to use funds to help future-proof this workstream.

This funding will also drive additional records requests as your constituents will understand how the money is allocated.