FOIA administrative record in cases with successful administrative appeal

This all-departments request seeks the entire administrative record in FOIA matters which involved a successful administrative appeal.

These records would reveal:

  • how the FOIA administrative appeals process works in practice, e.g. what kinds of arguments are successful on administrative appeal, what actions are taken by the appealed-to entity, what kinds of relief are granted, and why;

  • whether such aspects of FOIA administrative appeals are consistent, both within and between agencies, which cannot be determined except by a broad comparison across many instances;

  • effects of OGIS mediation on administrative appeals;

  • the extent to which agencies comply with the administrative appeals process (or don’t), e.g. in responding to requests made by the appealed-to entity, or obeying their decisions;

  • policy/pattern/practice violations which cannot be determined except by a broad comparison across many instances, to detect repeated violations (as determined by the appealed-to entity) that an agency has not systemically corrected; and

  • courts’ responses, and agencies’ Vaughn filings, in the context of successful administrative appeals.

It’s submitted to every Executive Department (including all subsidiary agencies), two Executive Office of the President components, and the Coast Guard (because DHS uses the Coast Guard to conduct FOIA administrative appeals, for some reason).

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