During Sunshine Week, senators cite issues with FOIA request backlog

As the federal government saw a record-breaking number of Freedom of Information Act requests last year, many agencies still struggle with a growing case backlog.

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, several lawmakers expressed frustration with some of the bottlenecks in the FOIA process. The hearing occurred during Sunshine Week, an annual initiative by journalism associations to raise awareness of FOIA and its potential obstacles.

Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) complained that, in some rare cases, agencies continue to work on FOIA requests from 10 and 15 years ago.

“No one can say with a straight face that FOIA always works as intended,” Grassley said. Read more…