CIA Makes Significant Progress on FOIA and Privacy Act Cases
November 6, 2007
For the 10th consecutive year, the Central Intelligence Agency has reduced its backlog of pending Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act requests.
In Fiscal Year (FY) 2007, the Agency reduced the backlog by over 13 percent—including a 74 percent drop in cases older than five years old.
“Our success over the past year in substantially reducing the backlog reflects our strong and continuing commitment to the Agency’s social contract with the American people,” said CIA Director Mike Hayden. “We have an obligation to protect the country’s national security secrets, but we strive to share as much information as possible with the public we serve—especially to help Americans understand the complex challenges and risks that CIA officers routinely confront in carrying out their vital intelligence mission.”
In FY 2007, the CIA received a combined total of 2,911 new FOIA and Privacy Act requests—about a 16 percent increase over the previous year—and closed 3,031 cases, an almost 18 percent increase over FY 2006. The number of new FOIA requests in FY 2007 was 2,083, and the number of Privacy Act requests was 828. Of the cases closed in FY 2007, 2,181 were FOIA requests and 850 were Privacy Act requests.
Apart from FOIA and Privacy Act cases, the Agency has made over 31 million pages of previously classified records available to the public under a program that reviews records 25 or more years old.
Congress passed the Freedom of Information Act in 1966 and amended it in 1974 to allow the release of more national security information. Congress also passed the Privacy Act in 1974, which permits individuals to request information the U.S. Government may possess on them.