Public Comments Submitted by Richard F. Hanrahan on September 8, 2021 - Statistics for FOIA Estimated Date of Completion
from: Richard Hanrahan
date: Sep 8, 2021, 11:10 PM
subject: Statistics for FOIA Estimated Date of Completion
Several months after submitting a FOIA request to a department of the Federal Government I asked for an estimated date of completion (EDC). After the initial EDC passed I asked for an update, and repeated my update requests after each subsequent EDC passed. In this manner I received the following series of EDCs for my request: 11/5/20, 6/30/21, 8/27/21, and 12/2/21.
It appears that EDCs given to requesters are often unrealistic and there is no incentive for FOIA offices to provide accurate completion time estimates.
If FOIA offices were required to publish statistics on the percentage of requests completed on or before the relevant EDC then they would have an incentive to generate estimates that better reflect the actual processing time.
Richard F. Hanrahan