Tech Improvements That Can Help Gov't Tackle FOIA Backlog

By Ken Koch and Erica Spector (November 17, 2021, 6:19 PM EST) — As the number of Freedom of Information Act requests submitted to the federal government continues to grow, so does the cost to the government.

The Congressional Research Service notes that current prioritization of pandemic-related requests, remote work, and an inability to coordinate requests have increased existing backlog, and caused federal agencies to process significantly fewer FOIA requests in longer times in fiscal year 2020 than in fiscal year 2019.[1]

From fiscal years 2012 to 2018, the number of FOIA requests received by the government increased by more than 160,000 — over 30%; the backlog of FOIA requests pending a response at…