FOIA March Madness 2018

Now entering its third year, FOIA March Madness pits 64 federal government agencies against each other to process an identical request for standard materials, a battle for the title of Most Responsive Agency.

It’s the U.S. of A 2018, friends and frenemies! And, hey now, maybe you’re thinking we’ve had enough madness mongering already. Hit the headlines and you’ll see the latest list of reasons it’s a crazy world out there - is it mad enough for you already, folks? Well, turn away now, then, fam, because MuckRock is back for a third year with our annual faceoff! World! It’s FOIA MARCH MADNESS 2018!!!

Here’s how it works:

We’ve chosen 64 teams from across the federal Freedom of Information Act offices. The selection is less-than-scientific, including some fan favorites from last year and some new contenders and absent certain non-responsives from the 2017 iteration.

We’ve submitted the same FOIA request to each office, and we’ll be eliminating slowpokes each week and advancing those quick on the reply.

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FOIA Final Four

Image by Pete Souza via Wikimedia Commons

9 Articles

A look over this year’s FOIA March Madness responses

A look over this year’s FOIA March Madness responses

The Securities and Exchange Commission receives thousands of FOIA requests each year - over 13,000 during the last one - and yet they managed to walk away the winner of MuckRock’s annual FOIA March Madness competition for the second year running. Other departments, though, have also provided some sort of response, and they’ve done so with variation; we’ll take a look at some of those differences here.

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Announcing the winner of FOIA March Madness 2018

Announcing the winner of FOIA March Madness 2018

Time moves at a different pace in the current FOI universe, and in keeping with tradition, we’re wrapping up our annual race to the completed request, FOIA March Madness 2018, well past the 20-day mark.

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FOIA March Madness is headed into overtime

FOIA March Madness is headed into overtime

After a month of phone calls, letters, emails, faxes, and failed FOIAs, we’ve reached the final two competitors in our annual match-up of federal Freedom of Information Act offices. We began with the same request - a broad, arguably “burdensome” call for all “talking points” emails since Election 2016 - sent to 64 different FOIA agencies, and today we’re left with two offices that have worked hard to clarify the request, limit the results, and get us a sample of the information we’re after.

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FOIA March Madness 2018 - The Final Four

FOIA March Madness 2018 - The Final Four

Elsewhere in the world, Wildcats and Leprechauns left March as the Masters of Madness, but here at MuckRock, our FOIA-themed spin on the popular springtime showdown carries on to the Final Four, and what a four they are, folks. We’ve had many great competitors, and this round sees some more heartbreaking eliminations. Let’s take a look.

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FOIA March Madness 2018 - On to the Elite Eight

FOIA March Madness 2018 - On to the Elite Eight

FOIA March Madness is heading into the Elite Eight matchups this week, folks, and after three weeks of our competition to provide talking point emails, eliminations were the toughest yet.

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FOIA March Madness 2018 - Advancing to the Sweet Sixteen?

FOIA March Madness 2018 - Advancing to the Sweet Sixteen?

After another week of processing and patience, we’re taking a look at the progress - and lack thereof - being made by our remaining FOIA March Madness 2018 contenders.

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Wrapping up the first round of FOIA March Madness 2018

Wrapping up the first round of FOIA March Madness 2018

We’re one week into our annual FOIApalooza - check out who has made it out of the first round!

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Tip-off time for FOIA March Madness 2018

Tip-off time for FOIA March Madness 2018

Our 2018 competitors will be battling to provide a collection of talking points and the like from Election Day 2017 through March 13th, 2018, just another day in major agency turnover.

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FOIA March Madness 2018 brackets are now open!

FOIA March Madness 2018 brackets are now open!

Welcome back to year number three of our favorite FOIA face-off between 64 of the country’s FOIA offices. Time to plan your plays, build your bracket, and get ready for our annual competition to sort out the swiftest response times in the land.

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