December 7, 2016

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Releases 2015 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Annual Report

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 2015 Freedom of Information Act Report was posted online by the DHS Privacy Office earlier today.

The report runs 37 pages and is available here. A full text copy is also embedded below.

From the Document:

The report highlights the large number of FOIA requests and appeals the Department received this fiscal year, as well as the sizable reduction of its backlog. Indeed, during the reporting period DHS decreased its FOIA backlog of pending requests by 66 percent from 103,778 in fiscal year 2014 to 35,374 in fiscal year 2015.

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Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security Privacy Office 2015 Freedom of Information Act Report

DHS accounts for almost 40 percent of all FOIA requests received by the Federal Government. In fiscal year 2015, DHS received 281,138 FOIA requests and processed 348,878, a 32 percent increase over the 238,003 processed in fiscal year 2014. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, reduced its FOIA backlog from 56,683 pending requests at the end of fiscal year 2014 to 555 requests at the end of fiscal year 2015, a more than 99 percent reduction. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, reduced its FOIA backlog from 34,308 pending requests at the end of fiscal year 2014 to 9,208 requests at the end of fiscal year 2015, a 73 percent reduction.

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In fiscal year 2015, DHS granted 15,582 requests in full, partially granted 216,917, and denied 6,825 requests on the basis of FOIA exemptions. The Department commonly invokes exemptions 6 and 7(C) to prevent unwarranted injury to the privacy interests of individuals, and exemption 7(E) to protect against the disclosure of law enforcement techniques, procedures, and guidelines. The combined use of exemptions 6, 7(C), and 7(E) made up approximately 90 percent of all exemptions used. Another commonly used exemption is exemption 5, which protects inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums or letters which would not be available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the agency. This exemption was applied approximately 32 percent of all exemptions used. The number of pending FOIA requests for DHS at the end of fiscal year 2015 was 49,289, a 60 percent decrease from the 120,393 requests pending at the end of fiscal year 2014.

Direct to: Full Text Report

U.S. Department of Homeland Security FOIA Annual Report FY 2015

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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