home | about | documents | news | postings | FOIA | research | internships | search | donate | mailing list

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

The Ten Oldest Pending FOIA Requests

The National Security Archive
Freedom of Information Act Audit

Press Release
Executive Summary
The Ten Oldest FOIA Requests in the Federal Government
Chart - Agency Response Times
Table - Oldest Outstanding FOIA Requests
Findings Regarding The Ten Oldest FOIA Requests and FOIA Backlogs
Summary Discussion of Individual Agencies
Update on Phase One: The Ashcroft Memorandum
FOIA Audit Phase One: The Ashcroft Memo



Download the entire report in Adobe PDF format (927 KB)

Note: Many documents on this Website are in Adobe PDF format.
You will need to download and install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.

Ten Oldest - OMB responded approximately 54 business days after the request was made; it reported ten FOIA requests ranging from August 15, 2001 to May 31, 2002. The requests concern records regarding the 60 embryonic stem cell lines that NIH has deemed suitable for study by federally funded scientists, records from rulemaking dockets maintained by OIRA, referrals from the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Department of Energy, records regarding the Hudson River Superfund Site, correspondence with Halliburton and its subsidiaries, records regarding the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund, regulatory history records for two OMB Standard Forms, and a litigation settlement of a case involving Destin Dome 56 unit leases.
Workload Statistics - OMB's reported statistics from 1998 through 2002 indicate that the agency received an increasing number of FOIA requests over the 1998-2001 period, with a dramatic reduction in 2002 (down 48.07% from 156 in 1998 to 87 in 2002). The number processed each year shows a similar patter (down 51.76% from 170 processed in 1998 to 82 processed in 2002). OMB's processing rate per year -- a comparison of the number of requests processed to the number received - often surpassed 100 but has decreased from 108.97% in 1998 to 94.25% in 2002.
Backlog Statistics - OMB's backlog of pending FOIA requests has increased (from 10 FOIA requests pending at the end of 1998 to 23 FOIA requests pending at the end of 2002). OMB's backlog as a percentage of FOIA requests processed each year has increased from 5.88% in 1998 to 28.05% in 2002. Its backlog rate per year -- a comparison of the number of requests pending at the end of the year to the number received during that year - has decreased from 6.41% in 1998 to 0% in 1999, but is back up to 26.44 % in 2002.
Processing Time - OMB's single track system from 1998 to 2000 resulted in median days to process ranging from 40-52 days. Although apparently structured as two-track in 2001 and 2002, there are no complex request reported for those years and the median days to process the simple requests are reported as 36-44 days. The median days that backlogged requests have been pending has ranged from a median of 17 to 203 days over the 1998-2002 period. No processing times are reported for expedited requests.



OMB Response Letter

OMB August 15, 2001 Letter

OMB August 28, 2001 (1) Letter

OMB August 28, 2001 (2) Letter

OMB October 25, 2001 Letter

OMB January 16, 2002 Letter

OMB January 28, 2002 Letter

OMB January 31, 2002 Letter

OMB April 23, 2002 Letter

OMB May 31, 2002 Letter

OMB August 1, 2002 Letter


Contents of this website Copyright 1995-2017 National Security Archive. All rights reserved.
Terms and conditions for use of materials found on this website.