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Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

FOIA is a federal statute that provides that any person has a right to request access to federal agency records. FOIA also establishes a presumption that records in the possession of agencies and departments of the Executive Branch of the U. S. Government are accessible to the people, except to the extent the records are protected from disclosure by any of nine exemptions contained in the law or by one of three special law enforcement record exclusions.

DHS consistently receives the largest number of FOIA requests of any federal department or agency, receiving almost 40 percent of all requests within the Federal Government. Below you can see the high volume of requests received, the number of requests processed, and our monthly backlog.  Additionally, please note the number of pages of records released in the current fiscal year:

  • DHS released over 28 million pages of records in Fiscal Year 2017
  • DHS released more than 106,000 pages through the appeal process in Fiscal Year 2017
  • DHS released more than 118,000 pages through litigation in Fiscal Year 2017
  • DHS received 32,847 FOIA requests in August 2017
  • DHS processed 50,637 FOIA requests in August 2017
  • DHS has 53,635 backlogged FOIA requests as of August 2017



Last Published Date: November 14, 2017

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