Michael Morisy

So it’s pretty well established that agencies must provide an estimated completion date (ECD requirement imposed per 5 USC § 552(a)(7)(B)(ii)), but I was recently asked when do they have to provide an ETA? To randomly pick an example, let’s say the CIA has been asked for an ETA, and it’s been a month without any update.

When and what action should be taken?

Michael Morisy

As best I can tell after speaking to a few folks, a) there’s nothing forcing them to provide the estimate unless you sue, b) the best way to get an estimate with an uncooperative agency is to open an appeal with OGIS.

John Hawkinson

It may not be necessary to sue – just the credible threat of a suit. That can be having your FOIA lawyer call their counsel.

Allan Blutstein

Even DOJ/OIP’s guidance to agencies on estimated completion dates does not squarely address your question. See http://www.justice.gov/oip/oip-guidance-1. Here’s one frequent FOIA requester’s advice on obtaining this info: https://www.beaconreader.com/jason-leopold/when-will-those-documents-arrive-a-guide-to-obtaining-a-foia-completion-date.

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