Zaynab Shukriyya

Generally speaking can a request be made to obtain other public records requests? For example: “Please provide all public record requests submitted to __ agency during the time period 8/1/2017 - 7/31/2018.” Is such a request exempted under the FOIA or the California PRA?

Russ Kick

You can definitely do that under the FOIA. All requests, responses, processing documents, etc. are considered public records and are releasable (within the normal bounds of FOIA’s exemptions of course).

This is good if you want to see the results of specific requests. But you mentioned getting all the requests sent to any agency for a year, and for most agencies that’s going to be a gigantic amount of responsive records, which will probably take forever to process and might trigger high fees. If you just want to know what people requested, you should get the FOIA request logs for a given agency. For example, here’s the 2018 log for the Postal Inspection Service:

https://www.muckrock.com/foi/united-states-of-america-10/2018-foia-logs-2-us-postal-inspection-service-71785/

I’ve requested the 2017 and 2018 logs from lots of agencies through MuckRock, and you can see the results here:

https://www.muckrock.com/foi/list/?page=1&per_page=100&user=4519&status=done

The other main sources for FOIA logs online:

https://www.governmentattic.org/FOIALogsCat.html

http://www.theblackvault.com/documentarchive/foia-case-logs/#

https://altgov2.org/foialand/

(Disclaimer: The last site is mine.)

Russ Kick

You can also get PRA logs for California agencies. For example, here’s the California AG 2018 log:

https://www.muckrock.com/foi/california-52/california-attorney-general-cpra-request-log-for-2018-66779/

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